Coralliformis Hinoki CypressChamaecyparis obtusa 'Coralliformis'
View more from Dwarf Evergreens
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Coralliformis'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress is a broad, pyramidal evergreen conifer, growing to 4 or 5 feet tall and wide within the first 10 years, and probably doubling that in time. It has unique and attractive foliage of many thin threads, covered in smooth, glossy green scale-like leaves. These twist and curl into dense clusters that resemble tropical reef corals. The rich green color is kept year-round, without bronzing in winter. Use it around your home among other evergreens, out in mixed shrub beds, as accents at corners and beside doors and gates, or on slopes among boulders and gravel. It’s perfect for Asian gardens and excellent as a bonsai.
Full sun is best for your Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress, but it can handle a few hours of shade each day if necessary. Grow it in any well-drained soil, with the best growth in richer loam or clay soils that are generally moist, with added organic material. This tree is very adaptable to most soils, and easy to grow in any garden, anywhere. It doesn’t have serious pest or disease problems, and it is best not to trim it at all – it keeps its form perfectly, and trimming reduces the beauty of the foliage.
Compact evergreens play such an important role in creating permanence in your plantings. Some experts suggest that two-thirds or even more of your plants should be evergreens, both conifers and broad-leaf. This is certainly possible in warmer zones, and a way of creating a strong framework for your garden, that is their every day of the year. Medium-sized bushes should make up a good part of that mix – it’s best not to have too much that needs regular trimming to stay in scale. Top of any plant list for this must be the Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress, whose handsome, slightly twisted foliage gives a look of ‘instant maturity’ to any garden. Growing to perhaps 5 feet in 10 years, and ultimately doubling that, it needs no trimming – in fact it isn’t recommended at all – so this is a great low-maintenance plant that will grow in most gardens without trouble. It’s ideal around your home, to soften the architecture, in mixed beds, or out among rocks and gravel in a more modern, natural style. Smooth to the touch, you want to reach out and stroke the coral-like green stems – and you can, as they have no prickly leaves. For great upright form and handsome good-looks, you can’t beat it.
The Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress is a broad, upright evergreen conifer, forming a pyramid with a wide base. Within 10 years, adding 3 or 4 inches each year, it will be 3 to 5 feet tall and wide, depending on your growing conditions. Evergreens never stop growing, and you can expect a mature specimen to reach 10 feet tall and wide in time. Consider these dimensions carefully when planting – the unique foliage means the last thing you want is to be forced to trim it. The plant is dense and bushy, but not a boring green ball – it has a lot of texture and appeal, thanks to the clusters of foliage that develop. The tiny triangular leaves are green scales that lie flat against the stems that form thread-like branches, forking and forking again until they resemble clusters of coral branches. The leaves are glossy green, contrasting with the shaggy reddish bark on the older stems. These young stems twist and curl too, and sometimes grow together into thicker structures, called ‘fasciation’. The color is a consistent green, without significant bronzing in winter, while new spring growth is brighter green. This plant is unlikely to develop any of the typical ball-like cones seen in this species.
Where you want a mid-sized evergreen of interest and form, look no further than the Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress. Plant it among other evergreens around your home – it’s natural foliage looks great against the smooth, clipped forms of arborvitae or yew. Plant it between windows, or close to a walkway. Perhaps it could be used as a pair on either side of a doorway or gate, or at the foot of a set of steps. Use it as an accent where a pathway turns, or grow it among deciduous shrubs for winter form and interest. It is very attractive grown in areas of gravel and rocks, mixed with a range of other evergreen conifers of different colors and form – add some blue spreading junipers, golden columns or weeping cedars perhaps – for an area that is incredibly low-maintenance, but that becomes more striking and attractive every year.
The Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress is incredibly hardy and adaptable, growing well even in zone 4, and yet also growing in warm and hot states, tolerating high humidity as well.
Like most conifers, this is a plant for a sunny location, although it will be fine in a spot with a few hours of shade each day. It is also very adaptable to soil, growing in acid to alkaline ground, and in clay too. Very dry and sandy soil is not so suitable, as this is a plant that likes some regular moisture and grows best in richer earth. Use mulch to preserve moisture, and once established it has reasonable resistance to ordinary summer drought.
The simple answer to trimming and pruning is, ‘Don’t’. Just leave this shrub to develop its own natural form, as taking shears or trimmers to it will destroy the twisted beauty of its stems, which is it’s main beauty. Pests and diseases are not normally problems.
The Hinoki Cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa, is a large tree native to Japan. It is often called falsecypress, because the true cypress is Cupressus, from Europe and North America. Wild trees are huge, growing over 100 feet tall, so it is rarely seen in gardens. There are many different smaller forms, and the one called Coralliformis dates back to at least the very first years of the 20th century, before 1909. Those early trees, though, are described as very dwarf, while our modern tree grows much larger, so there may be some issues with the true names – but like everyone else we are going to stick to it.
You really can’t build an attractive garden without including a range of conifer evergreens like the Coralliformis Hinoki Cypress. It’s a real garden staple you can’t be without, so order your plants right away. This always-popular bush is always in short supply, so we can’t guarantee to always have it in stock – order now.