Sawara False Cypress, Boulevard Cypress, Blue Moss Cypress 'Sungold'

Chamaecyparis pisifera

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaecyparis (kam-ee-SIP-a-riss) (Info)
Species: pisifera (pee-SEE-fer-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Sungold



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Lemon Grove, California

Winterville, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Ludington, Michigan

Saint Louis, Missouri

Middletown, New Jersey

West Islip, New York

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

Bristol, Tennessee

South Jordan, Utah

Ridgefield, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 17, 2013, Agnis from Ridgefield, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

@ Suzanne -- When the tag says 5' to 8', that means it may or may not be that big in 10 years, depending on everything. If the above comment says the plant is 4' in 8 years, that is well within the measurements on the tag.

I must second the warning about pruning!! these lovely, shaggy trees should never be shorn. "Meatballing" them ruins them, as it does most plants. How lovely it would be if people realized that plants grow (I am not kidding), and different varieties have different growth patterns. Forcing a plant to be a 'meatball' does it a great disservice.


On Nov 22, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Adds a nice bright note to a shady corner. No problems with this shrub, and it has stayed about 4' tall in the 8 years I've had mine.


On Nov 7, 2009, susanelliott from Olivette, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

The above description seems to be wrong, the growers tag and other information on the web has the height to slowly but eventually reach between 5'-8'


On May 21, 2009, we3greenes from Bristol, TN wrote:

This past Christmas, I used two of these plant in a container near our front door along with dwarf nandinas. I got tons of compliments and they did really well considering I totally neglected them. they are just starting to outgrow the containers and I am planning to move them to a hill side that we have been landscaping. I really love these.


On Nov 29, 2004, designart from Schwenksville, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

The 'Sungold' cultivar in PA is a light green in color. The yellowish colored plants are the 'Aurea' cultivar. This plant is great for unusual texture and different foliage color. Use this shrub where you want an evergreen accent or specimen. They have a medium growth rate in PA and have weeping branches but also grow upright and will quickly block windows if used in foundation plantings. Be sure to place in an area where you can let it grow because it is best left unpruned. If you prune the branches, they never recover the weeping growth habit and look unattractive unless pruned very carefully.


On Apr 10, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Sungold False Cypress is a great dwarf if you want bright yellow colour year-round. This cultivar only puts on about 2 inches of growth a year. In summer, it really turns yellow; in winter the colour is a bit more muted. Great addition to any rock garden.