Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sawara False Cypress, Boulevard Cypress, Blue Moss Cypress
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Dow Whiting'

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaecyparis (kam-ee-SIP-a-riss) (Info)
Species: pisifera (pee-SEE-fer-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Dow Whiting
Additional cultivar information: (aka Soft Serve)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By ShrubSource
Thumbnail #1 of Chamaecyparis pisifera by ShrubSource


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive als20 On Nov 4, 2014, als20 from Irwin, PA wrote:

I have 6 of these in various spots around my yard. The oldest one has been in the ground a little over 3 years with the newest two about 1 year.

I am a big fan of this tree, they are GREAT looking and have done well in our poor clay soil and cold winters.

The two I planted last year got in a little late in the season and were in a location with no protection and lots of wind. So they were not well established when we got blasted with sub-zero temps and a brutal winter. I ended up wrapping them in burlap about mid-winter. They got pretty beat up but have come back great over the summer. The other three I have are in a similar location and have done well since planting about 2.5 years ago.

The only comment I would have is they may get bigger than advertised - so keep that in mind. They advertise it as 5-6 foot spread at 8-10 feet tall. The one I have had for 3 years was about 3 feet tall when I planted it. It now has a solid 6+ foot spread at about 6 feet tall. I would suspect without any trimming it will easily exceed the advertised size in short time. I have done a little selective pruning to keep it's spread in check and it seems fine.

In the fall they brown out in the center of the tree - more significantly the first year. At first it had me a little worried. This seems like the norm every year for this tree's "fall" and it seems to fill in fine the next year.

Positive Gracye On Sep 19, 2013, Gracye from Warrenton, VA wrote:

After an exhaustive search for the best foundation conical shrub, not too tall, feathery, on the blue side, able to withstand Virginia blasting sun, and affordable, oh, and don't forget, deer resistant, I bought two.
I have a 1950's bright-white painted cinderblock cottage, one floor, and have a high water table - an artesian well is nearby! These two shrubs went into a greatly improved foundation bed, on the other side of a Montgomery blue spruce and a Castle wall holly. Oh, the first two years, I was extremely worried - they browned out in the middle, went limp in the summer blast, and had very little growth.
This third year, they took off like race horses! Lush, three colors, and so feathery, what incredible shrubs!
They also have that retro look while being deer resistant. I could NOT be happier, and am going to buy a third one and yank out a rosebush.

Positive ShrubSource On Mar 27, 2009, ShrubSource from Zeeland, MI wrote:

Chamaecyparis - Soft Serve False Cypress

Soft Serve is extremely adaptable and is a great substitute for 'Dwarf Alberta' spruce. This compact evergreen has graceful, soft fern-like branching. The leaves are bright green on top and flecked with silver-blue on the underside. Soft Serve does not require any pruning, but to keep it smaller pruning can be done in the spring. Makes an outstanding specimen and is also a wonderful choice for shrub borders, hedges, and screens. Evergreen.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Irwin, Pennsylvania
Warrenton, Virginia
Ellensburg, Washington

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