Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech

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Sawara falsecypress is a medium to large conifer. There are numerous cultivars that are more popular and prevalent in the nursery trade than the species. Cultivars vary in size (growth rate), foliage type and color, and form. Many of the cultivars are considered “dwarf” since they do not attain the mature size of the species. There are four foliage types: 1) the scale foliage of the species is termed “normal,” 2) plumosa, lateral leaves (very small) protrude from the facial (middle) leaf which confers a fine texture to the foliage; 3) squarrosa, foliage is awl-like (juvenile characteristic); and 4) filifera, scale-like foliage occurs in pendulous long thread-like sections (mostly). Foliage color varies from green, to bluish, to bright yellow. Popular cultivars include ‘Boulevard’, a dwarf narrow conical form with silvery-blue awllike foliage (squarrosa type), requires pruning (shearing is recommended) because unpruned plants become sparse which exposes unsightly brown dead foliage; ‘Filifera’, a conical dwarf form (will grow to 30+ feet tall) with thread-like foliage; ‘Filifera Aurea’ and ‘Golden Mop’ are conical forms with yellow thread-like foliage (the later cultivar is more compact); and ‘Snow’ is an upright mound (round in youth) with fern-like blue-gray foliage, but newly formed branched tips are white. 

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Publication Date

October 3, 2018