Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Plumosa Compressa Aurea' / Plumosa Compressa Aurea Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Plumosa Compressa Aurea' is globose, dwarf selection of Sawara cypress with fluffy, juvenile foliage that is tinged with creamy golden highlights in late spring and summer. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 inches (30 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of around 1 inch (2.5 cm).

This cultivar originated as a color sport found in the early 1970s by Hillier Nursery, Winchester, United Kingdom on a specimen of Ch. pisifera 'Plumosa Compressa'. Hillier Nursery is also credited with naming and introducing the plant to the nursery trade. It should be noted that since 'Plumosa Compressa Aurea' was named and introduced after 1959, it is technically an invalid cultivar name. Nonetheless, it is such a well-known cultivar that changing its name would lead to unnecessary confusion.

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Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Plumosa Compress Aurea' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Plumosa Compress Aurea' — a mature plant in a large arboretum.
Photo by Bill Barger

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