Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Nana Aureovariegata' / Nana Aureovariegata Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Nana Aureovariegata' is a dense, cushion-shaped selection of Sawara cypress tiny fans of foliage copiously flecked with yellow variegation. The plant resembles other cultivars of this species, namely, Ch. pisifera 'Golden Pincushion' and 'Nana Aurescens.' Ambiguous plant descriptions only tend to muddle these similarities.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 8 inches (20 cm) tall and 12 inches (30 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of less than 1 inch (2.5 cm).

This is an old cultivar of unknown origin, long known in gardens in Europe since the 1870s. It was probably first formally described in 1939 in the second edition Murray Hornibrook's famous work, Dwarf and Slow-growing Conifers.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Nana Aureovariegata' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Nana Aureovariegata' — an old specimen at a large arboretum.
Photo by Bill Barger