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.

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