Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow' / Sparkling Arrow Nootka cypress

Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow' is a strikingly beautiful, narrow upright, strict-weeping selection of Nootka cypress with pendulous branches and foliage that is splashed with creamy white variegation. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 15 feet (5 m) tall and 2.5 feet (75 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of around 12 inches (30 cm).

This cultivar originated as a variegated color sport found in 2001 by Talon Buchholz of Buchholz Nursery, Gaston, Oregon. Talon found the the mutation on a specimen of Cupressus nootkatensis 'Green Arrow'. After about a decade of observation, the nursery had finally accumulated enough plant material to be able to introduce it to the trade. It has a similar growth pattern to 'Green Arrow,' but grows just slightly slower due to less chlorophyll in the foliage. This plant is an outstanding vertical accent for any eclectic garden.

A vignette of Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow' in a private garden in Petaluma, California.
Photo by David Olszyk
Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by David Olszyk
Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow' Closeup of the dazzling variegated foliage.
Photo by Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery
Cupressus nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow' courtesy of Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery, Gaston, OR
Photo by Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery


Kathy Gallagher

I recently bought a sparkling arrow. In researching I find it is sometimes called Alaskan cedar and sometimes a cypress
Both have different mature heights the cedar up to 30 feet or more cypress 15 feet. Could you explain?

David Olszyk

Hi Kathy ... the genus Cupressus covers cypresses. Only plants in the genus Cedrus can be properly called cedars. This is a common error by those who create plant tags.

The difference in mature heights can be easily explained. The ACS considers 10-year-old plants to be "mature." That DOES NOT mean that they will stop growing at 10 years old (unless you cut them down). Given an annual growth rate of 12 inches per year, 'Sparkling Arrow' will be 30 feet tall after 25-30 years (apparently somebody else's opinion of "maturity").

Sara Malone

We think that early English-speaking settlers called every tree that had aromatic bark a 'cedar', which is why there are so many conifers with the common name of 'cedar'. Makes it soooo confusing....