Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Rubicon' / Rubicon Atlantic white cypress

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Rubicon' is a upright, dwarf, bushy selection of Atlantic white cypress with dense juvenile foliage that is gray-green in summer, turning amazing dark reddish purple in winter in colder climates. After 10 years of growth, a mature plant will measure 3 feet (1 m) tall and 1 feet (30 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm).

The plant, beautiful as it is, is known to be temperamental, always prone to sudden death for no apparent reason. Nonetheless it's definitely worth a try, particularly in its native part of the world.

This cultivar originated as a unique seedling selected in the late 1960s by enthusiast and renowned writer of conifer books, Humphrey J. Welch while touring Tennessee Valley Nursery, Winchester, Tennessee. It is consistently seen listed in the nursery trade as Ch. thyoides 'Red Star' which is likely intended to be a commercial (trade) name.

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Rubicon' — photo from summer 2002 at Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina, USA.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Rubicon' at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa, in the Heartland Collection of Garden Conifers, late October 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Rubicon' in a private garden in Kansas, October 2006.
Photo by David Stegmaier
Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Rubicon' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger


Max Cohn

On this one, I think it would be best to change the common name to Red Star™ Atlantic white cypress.