The Plume sawara falsecypress (Chamaecyparis piseferia ‘Plumosa’) is a slow-growing evergreen coniferous tree with a conical shape. Its dark green leaves are needle like, up to 4mm long and are arranged in flat, spreading sprays. Its red/ brown bark is vertically fissures. Its fruit are cones and up to 8mm across. The tree is native to central and southern Japan and was introduced in the U.S in the second half on the 19th century. Chamaecyparis is derived from the Greek chamea meaning ’dwarf’ and kupeiros the ancient Greek name for the Cypress (ironically this is not a dwarf tree). Pisifera is derived from the Latin pisi meaning ‘pea’ and fero meaning ‘to bear’. Plumosa is from the Latin meaning ‘feathered’.
Common name: Plume False Cypress
Scientific Name (order and family): Chamaecyparis pisifera plumosa (Cupressaceae, Cupressales)
Species Native Origin: Japan
Habit: 50 -70’ tall; 10 – 20’ wide, broadly conical –pyramidal with a loose open habit and numerous branchlets thickly covered with slender feathery sprays; Streambanks in mountains. Zone 4 – 8.
Trunk/Stem: Bark red brown, peeling in thin strips.
Leaves: Evergreen, scale-like. Leaves very small with free, pointed tips, glossy yellow-green above with conspicuous white marks beneath in flattened aromatic sprays. Leaves at side of shoots slightly larger than those above and below.
Flowers: Monoecious. Male flowers brownish; female lfower pale brown in small clusters at the tip s of the shoots in spring.
Fruits and seeds: Fruit, a rounded-cone, like a soccer ball, 1/6 – 1/4” wide matures from green to brown. It appears as a clustered crowd on a short stalk. Scales 6 -10, yellowish brown, soft woody; upper side wrinkled, the middle is depressed with a small mucro at the depression. Seeds 1 – 2 ovoid and bulbous on both sides, glandular, wing broad, membranous, notched above and below