Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' / Golden Mop sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' is dwarf globose to conical, dense form of Ch. pisifera 'Filifera Aurea' with brighter color, finer foliage and much slower growth. Many dismiss this cultivar as simply a cultivarient, but it appears to be reliably stable. Over time it will become a dense bush of golden threads. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 1.5 to 2 feet (50 - 60 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 1.5 to 2 inches (4.5 - 6 cm).

This cultivar originated as a mutation found on 'Filifera Aurea.' Humphrey Welch made first first mention of its existence in 1966 in World Checklist of Conifers. 'Golden Mop' is often seen listed as 'Filifera Aurea Nana,' 'Filifera Golden Mop' and 'Mops.'

Chamaecyparis pisifera "Golden Mop' — a young plant growing in a garden setting.
Photo by Rich Eyre
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' — a low, mounding form with brilliant gold, thread-like foliage. Grow in full sun for best color.
Photo by Iseli Nursery, Inc.
Chaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' in the spring of 2003 in the Heartland Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers, Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa. This plant was 11 years of age this year.
Photo by Chub Harper
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' in The Gotelli Collection of the U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C., May 2006.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop' in a garden setting.


Laura Jull

I have seen 'Golden Mop' threadleaf false-cypress grow well over 2 feet tall. I had some in my yard that easily were 8 feet tall and have seen them in arboreta that were 10 feet tall and wide. This is not a small conifer, but is considered dwarf compared to the straight species of Chamaecyparis pisifera.

Maxwell Cohn

of course. It's a tree, and as such never stops growing until it dies. The terms "dwarf, intermediate, and large" have nothing to do with their eventual size and everything to do with the growth rate. In the case of conifers, dwarf is defined as growing six inches or less per year. So, 'Golden Mop' is definitely a dwarf conifer.

Marianna Quartararo

I have a question about pruning this shrub. The tag stated mature height of 4'-5'. Mine is easily 10'+ (about 13yrs old) Obviously I planted this in the wrong location based on that information. How hard can I prune this shrub to bring it into a more manageable size for its location Thank you for any help provided.