Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Aurea' / Aurea Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Aurea' is a small tree-form of Sawara cypress bright yellow new growth that darkens to green toward the center of the plant. Foliage is similar to Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Plumosa Aurea' but 'Aurea' develops a strong central leader if not pruned and can grow 12 inches (30 cm) per year. It will have a straight trunk with attractive reddish bark. C.pisifera 'Plumosa Aurea' in constrast, is multi-branched and denser. After 10 years of growth, one can expect a mature 'Aurea' to stand 6 feet (2 m) tall and 4 feet (60 cm) wide.

This is an old cultivar that originated long ago in Japan and was introduced to the European nursery trade by P.F. von Siebold and Robert Fortune.

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Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Aurea' growing in northwestern Pennsylvania, USDA Zone 5b. Vigorous branches have been pruned to keep it more compact.
Photo by William Dunagin

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