Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' / Squarrosa Intermedia Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' initially grows as a broad, semi-dwarf mound of of dense, congested, tiny Blue-green needles. As a plant ages, it begins to take on very interesting structure and unlimited potential. A mature plant will regularly throw out long filamentous branches with sparse foliage and more of an vertical habit. Over time these "whips" will fill in with the congested "mossy foliage" until the process repeats itself. In order to maintain order or control growth, the whips should be removed when and where not desired.

Given this growth habit, 10-year size and annual growth rate is irrelevant and completely up to the individual. Yearly growth of the mossy foliage is 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm), while whips can extend up to 1 foot (30 cm) in a single push of growth.

'Squarrosa Intermedia' is an old cultivar that Murray Hornibrook first described in 1923 in his book, Dwarf and Slow-growing Conifers. Specimens of this cultivar have been known in English gardens since the turn of the 20th century.

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Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' — a 2002 photo at Plant Delights in North Carolina, USA.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Sandra McLean Cutler
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' — a young plant in a garden setting.
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' — an older specimen in a large arboretum.
Photo by Bill Barger

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