Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cream Ball' / Cream Ball Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cream Ball' is a compact dwarf, globose selection of Sawara cypress with cream-colored, and finely textured semi-juvenile foliage. It grows in the form of a very tight ball when young and is sometimes vulnerable to sun scald. It is a great choice for Rock gardens and troughs. As is true with other cultivars of this species, older plants will become more open in structure and will hold onto dead foliage, becoming less attractive over time. This inevitability can be delayed through yearly shearing of foliage.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 18 inches (45 cm) tall and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of less than 2 inches (5 cm).

This cultivar originated in the early 1980s at William Goddard's Floravista Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cream Ball' — a young specimen in a garden setting.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cream Ball' — a closeup of foliage detail. Note the fine textured.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cream Ball' — a 2008 picture of an old specimen in the ACS reference garden at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa.
Photo by Bill Barger


Phin Tuthill

My experience with this plant is that it gets rather large (5' tall by 3' wide in about 10 years) - unless what I was looking at was not Cream Ball. It was purchased as such and looked like it at an early age. Just more vigorous that what is described above.

Neil Fusillo

That's been my experience, too. Mine's growing about 8-12" a year as a cone.