Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Opaal' / Opaal Hinoki cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Opaal' is a dense, sculpted, dwarf selection of Hinoki cypress. Superficially, it can be described as a muted version of Ch. obtusa 'Nana Gracilis.' When compared with 'Nana Gracilis,' foliage will appear lighter in color and will show patches of creamy yellow, especially when growth in full sun. In addition it is known to set copious amounts of seed. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4 to 5 feet (0.7 to 1.5 m) tall, an annual growth rate of 3 to 6 inches (7 – 15 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the 1950s by L. Konijn & Co., nursery, Reeuwijk, The Netherlands. It is also known as Ch. obtusa 'Aureovariegata.'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Opaal' — a mature plant in a large arboretum.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Opaal' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger