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Chamaecyparis obtusa

Periodically, we will be writing a short feature article on those plants which have been selected for permanent signs. At present, we have installed 56 signs and plan to add more over time. The plants we have selected so far have been chosen for their prominence as major features in the landscape, unusual and striking characteristics, and frequent mention by our visitors. All of the information from these articles will be gathered into a compendium that will be made available to CHG visitors and online on our website.

Our first featured plant can be seen as you enter the Garden, just off the southwest corner of the front porch. The Hinoki cypress, botanical name Chamaecyparis obtusa, from the family Cupressaceae, is a coniferous evergreen tree from southern Japan, broadly conical in form, with dark green, scaly, fanshaped leaves and dark reddish bark.

There are many, many cultivars of this fine, easily grown species of Chamaecyparis, and although we have not determined which ours may be, it does appear to be relatively slow growing and may be a dwarf variety, having reached only 15 feet or so in over 40 years. Tolerating a wide variety of conditions, this tree prefers a sunny location in well-drained slightly acidic soil and is quite trouble free and undemanding. Most cultivars readily lend themselves to careful shaping and pruning if required but have been developed to become beautiful specimen plants in almost any setting.

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