Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Pygmaea' / Squarrosa Pygmaea Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Pygmaea' is a dwarf form of Sawara cypress that is similar to Ch. pisifera 'Squarrosa Intermedia' in foliage and color. The foliage is Blue-green in color and juvenile in structure. Although many believe that that are one in the same, many arboreta have displayed the two side by side to compare the divergent rates of growth. Differences could be explained as differences in propagation practices. While this is possible, it would also suggest that a given specimen would be unstable and throw erratic growth. Many specimens in older collections support this idea that the cultivar is stable over time.

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).

In 1923, Murray Hornibrook first described the original plants that were growing in Arnold Arboretum outside of Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1923. One can still find these very old, very dense plants growing there. 'Squarrosa Pygmaea' originated as a slow-growing mutation growing on 'Squarrosa Intermedia.' Some publications describe this plant under the cultivar name, 'Squarrosa Minima.'

Close-up of foliage Notice how tight this plant is. This specimen has never been pruned.
Photo by Bill Barger