Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lemon Twist’

Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lemon Twist’

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress is a fascinating and unique form of this Japanese tree, remarkable for its thread-like, twisted foliage in a crisp lemon-yellow color. It grows into a rounded evergreen shrub about 4 feet tall, and 4 feet across, after around 10 years. It will not rapidly outgrow its space, and fits perfectly into a small garden, or as part of a larger planting in a big garden. Dwarf evergreens are excellent plants for creating interesting foundation planting around your home. They are perfect low-maintenance plants for mixed shrub beds, or for beds filled with a variety of different dwarf and medium-sized shrubs. Use this fascinating and exotic-looking plant in an Asian-style garden setting, where it will look right at home beside Japanese maple and dwarf pine trees.

  • Exotic yellow-green foliage in threads and twisted ‘clubs’
  • Attractive neat mound reaching 4 feet tall and across
  • Easily grown in most garden situations
  • Never needs trimming to keep its beautiful character
  • Excellent way to add variety without adding maintenance work

Plant the Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress in full sun or light shade. It will grow in all the climate zones from 4 to 8, in any well-drained soil. Water regularly when newly planted, but mature plants are moderately drought resistant. You need never worry about pests or diseases, and you don’t need to trim it at all to keep it neat. Enjoy the novel foliage by planting where it can be seen closely, perhaps even in a large pot or container. This plant combines exotic appearance with easy care – an ideal combination.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
Mature Width 4
Mature Height 4
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 4-8

The Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress really lives up to its name. It is a wonderful lemon-green color, with consistent yellow tones which do not fade and turn green in summer or winter. It certainly has a twist to it, because the unique thread-like foliage often twists and turns as it grows, and sometimes fuses together to make fascinating club-like thicker stems. The ideal location for this plant is near a path or entrance, where its special qualities can easily be seen close-up. It would be a waste of a beautiful plant to put it at the back of a bed. It would still be attractive, but the complexity and interest of its foliage would be harder to appreciate.

This fascinating dwarf tree grows several inches a year, and in 10 years it will be a substantial dwarf plant, reaching about 4 feet in height, and spreading about 4 feet in diameter. It will continue to grow as long as it lives, and a mature specimen could one day be 10 feet tall and broad. A plant like that is highly desirable, and very valuable, so when planting, choose its location carefully, so that it can mature one day, without having to be trimmed or clipped. Trimming will reduce its natural, informal beauty, and should be avoided.

Plant the Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress around your home, as part of the foundation planting. It is just the right size to fit beside a window, in a corner, or as a pair on either side of a doorway. Since it is evergreen, it will always look beautiful, on every day of the year. Why surround your home with plain, common plants, when you can just as easily grow a special and unique plant like this? It will fit perfectly into a collection of other dwarf evergreens, with all their variety in form and foliage color. These provide a terrific way to have year-round interest without a big input of garden work from you. Fill your garden with easy-care plants like this one, and then sit back and relax. It will also grow well in a planter or large pot for years, as a wonderful way to decorate a terrace or patio.

The Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress grows easily in all zones from 4 to 8, so it will grow across most of the country. It grows best in richer soil that is reasonably moist but well-drained. It will grow perfectly well in most kinds of soil, and you can help it do better simply by enriching the soil with organic material when preparing the planting site. Add organic mulch in fall to retain moisture and add nutrients. It will grow best, and develop the richest lemon-colored foliage, if planted in full sun, but it will also grow well in a lightly shaded spot. It has no significant pests or diseases, and it needs no trimming or shaping to develop its attractive mounded form. It is neat and tidy, yet also informal and interesting – a rare combination indeed.

Hinoki Cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa, is a Japanese native tree that has produced almost 200 different variant forms over several centuries. It already came in many forms in its native Japan, and more were discovered after it was introduced into the West. Most of these are small, rounded shrubs, and they vary particularly in the form of their foliage. We can divide those foliage variations into three main categories. First are plants that retain the spiky foliage typical of young Hinoki cypress trees. This is usually called juvenile foliage. Second are plants with adult foliage – scale-like leaves that cling closely to the stems, which often grow in rounded, fan-like or shell-like arrangements. Koster’s Hinoki Cypress is a good example of this form. A third type have rounded, thread-like stems, with scale-like leaves, usually thin, but sometimes fused together into thicker, irregular stems, or twisted club-like structures.

A basic form of this third pattern of growth is usually called ‘Coralliformis’. This plant seems to have originated at some time before 1909, when it was first recorded. The same plant, or one very similar to it, is called ‘Tsatsumi’, and is mentioned in1919 as coming from Elm City Nurseries, which existed at that time in New Haven, Connecticut. Another grower, Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery, in the town of Gaston, Oregon, found a mutation on a plant of ‘Tsatsumi’, which had yellow foliage, instead of the usual green coloring. This form was found in 1996 and named by the nursery ‘Lemon Twist’.

Our plants are produced from stem pieces derived from that original and unique plant. These have been carefully nurtured to develop roots, and then grown on for several years to become the attractive young plant you will receive. We guarantee that this plant is true to the original character, and it is completely different from any other form of Hinoki Cypress, particularly cheap, seed-grown plants. These will not be this special form, and our customers know this. That is why we do not expect to have these beautiful plants in stock for long. Grow something unique, that will become a garden heirloom. Order now or be disappointed by the ‘Sold Out’ sign when you return.

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Lemon Twist Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lemon Twist’