Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: June 28, 2007

Crippsii False Cypress
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii'
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Species Native Range: Japan and Taiwan
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-8
Mature Size: Up to 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide, probably much smaller
Exposure: Full sun
Soil: Rich soil that is moist but well-drained
Ease of Culture: Easy

I must admit that I'm a bit smitten with the entire line of false cypresses (Chamaecyparis spp.) because of their ability to perform so well in our hot and humid climate. Many conifers, especially those that can grow into zone 4 (-30 degrees), often suffer in the South, but not so with most of the false cypresses.

Crippsii false cypress has a lovely golden color on the edges and younger growth while older growth becomes a bright green giving the plant a two-tone appearance. The tips of the branches hang down slightly making the plant appear to have a semi-weeping and soft, graceful habit.

Crippsii false cypress can be one of the larger members of this group and has been observed reaching heights of 50 feet. However, I suspect that this far south the true size will probably be under 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. This small size makes it suitable as a focal point or specimen tree in most landscapes.

Plant Crippsii false cypress in full sun for best color and in soil that is loose but well-drained. Once established, these plants are very heat and drought tolerant.

Grow CFC as a specimen plant, mixed into a shrub or conifer bed. A great companion plant would be the Blue Atlas Cedar with its gray/blue foliage or mixed with flowering shrubs such as Loropetalum and Knockout Roses.


Although I have seen this plant in the nursery or catalog listed below, I cannot guarantee that it will be available at the time this newsletter is published.

Bannister Creek Nursery: Duluth
Buck Jones Nursery: Grayson and Woodstock
Pike Family Nurseries: mutliple locations

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