The Weeping Alaska cedar, also called the Weeping Nootka False cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ ) is a cultivar of the Alaska cedar, a medium-sized evergreen tree with gray-green to blue-green foliage that has drooping branches. The branches have flattened scale-like gray-green leaves that will emit an unpleasant odor when rubbed or crushed. The tree is native to the Pacific West and likes a summer climate with above average humidity. The weeping “Pendula” cultivar was developed in Holland in 1884; North American cultivation began in 1907. The wood is very aromatic. Not as well known as C. pisifiera and C. obtusa. There are about 15 cultivars available including C. nootkatensis ‘Glauca’, which has bluish leaves, and C. nookatensis ‘Pendula’ which has pendulous branches and rich green foliage. The genus name comes from the Greek chamai meaning “dwarf” or “to the ground” and kyparissos meaning “cypress tree”. Nootkatensis refers to the Nootka Sound in British Columbia
See also description of Blue Nootka False Cypress
Common name: Weeping Nootka false cypress (Alaska Cedar); Nootka Falsecypress,
Scientific Name (family and order): Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ (Cupressaceae, Cupressales)
Species Origin: North Western North America
New Jersey Status: USDA Unreported.
Habit: 60 – 130’ tall; 1-5’ wide. Usually narrowly conical total tree shape. Old trees have greatly buttressed, fluted trunks with huge burls. Crown conical. Large branches sweep downward the lift upward at the ends; foliage on branchlets hangs like curtains.
Habitat: Zone 4 -7; forests and moist coastal mountain slopes.
Trunk/Stem: Bark Red-brown to orange-brown, stringy; branchlets are quadrangular and they become red-brown after one year.
Leaves: Leaves scale-like very small with free, pointed tips, keeled, dark green above and paler beneath in aromatic flattened sprays and pressed close to the shoot. Leaves in 4 rows along branchlet. Leaf tips sharp and not tightly pressed against branchlet. Foliage sprays flattened, long and pendent. Leaves bluish green or grayish green. Unlike other Chamaecyparis species C. nootkatensis leaves do not have white markings on the undersurface; moreover, crushed leaves of C. nootkatensis are rank smelling. In the ‘Variegata’ cultivar the foliage sprays are irregularly blotched creamy white.
Flowers: Monoecious. Male and female flowers both every small; male flowers yellow; female flowers blur clusters at tips of the winter shoots.
Fruits and seeds: Cones 3/8” wide, globose; ripening in two years, glaucous; 4 to 6 hooked scales, soccer ball shape and segmentation.