Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heatherbun' / Heatherbun Atlantic white cypress

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heatherbun' is a small, rounded shrub-form of Atlantic white cypress with persistent juvenile pale Blue-green foliage that turns plum-purple in winter. The purple color is very striking against snow and provides winter color where most plants wash out. This plant has a notable "Achilles heel" — it should be tied or protected from snow load in winter as it will cause plant to open, possibly splitting the trunk. As with all Chamaecyparis thyoides this specimen will tolerate wetter soil conditions.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 1.5 - 2 feet (50 - 60 cm) tall and wide, and annual growth rate of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7/5 cm), making smaller and denser in structure that the similar cultivar, Ch. thyoides 'Ericoides.'

In spite of being a fine plant that has been well known for a long time in the nursery trade, 'Heatherbun' is of unknown origin. It is occasionally seen listed under the name, 'Purple Heather.'

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heatherbun' — a nice specimen in garden setting. Notice the open growth at the top, this is probably due to snow load damage. This can be minimized by tying plant in winter.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heatherbun' — a closeup of foliage detail. Generally this is the habit of most foliage, sometimes mature foliage will be present and can be removed if desired. Foliage will be purple in winter.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heatherbun' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan, August 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Heatherbun Atlantic white cypress at Kloshe Woods, East Wenatchee, Washington.