|Tree in Osaka-fu, Japan|
(Siebold & Zucc.) Endl.
Chamaecyparis obtusavar. formosana
It is a slow-growing tree which grows to 35 m tall with a trunk up to 1 m in diameter. The bark is dark red-brown. The leaves are scale-like, 2-4 mm long, blunt tipped (obtuse), green above, and green below with a white stomatal band at the base of each scale-leaf. The cones are globose, 8-12 mm diameter, with 8-12 scales arranged in opposite pairs. The related Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara Cypress) can be readily distinguished in its having pointed tips to the leaves and smaller cones.
A similar cypress found on Taiwan is treated by different botanists as either a variety of this species (as Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana) or as a separate species Chamaecyparis taiwanensis; it differs in having smaller cones (6-9 mm diameter) with smaller scales, and leaves with a more acute apex.
Cultivation and uses
It is grown for its very high quality timber in Japan, where it is used as a material for building palaces, temples, shrines, traditional noh theatres, baths, table tennis blades and masu. The wood is lemon-scented, light pinkish-brown, with a rich, straight grain, and is highly rot-resistant.
It is also a popular ornamental tree in parks and gardens, both in Japan and elsewhere in temperate climates, including western Europe and parts of North America. A large number of cultivars have been selected for garden planting, including dwarf forms, forms with yellow leaves, and forms with congested foliage. It is also often grown as bonsai.
- 'Crippsii' makes a broad conic golden-green crown with a vigorous leading shoot, growing to 15–20 m or more tall.
- 'Flabelliformis' is a dwarf growing with pale green leaves.
- 'Kosteri' is a dwarf with brilliant green foliage.
- 'Lycopodioides' reaches up to 19 m tall, with somewhat fasciated foliage.
- 'Minima' under 10 cm after 20 years with mid-green foliage.
- 'Nana Aurea' has golden tips to the fans and a bronze tone in winter.
- 'Nana Gracilis' has crowded fans of tiny branches producing richly textured effects; it is often cited as a dwarf but has reached 11 m tall in cultivation in Britain.
- 'Nana Lutea' A compact, slow-growing, golden yellow selection which has become very popular. A yellow counterpart to 'Nana gracilis'.
- 'Spiralis' is an erect, stiff dwarf tree.
- 'Tempelhof' which grows to 2–4 metres has a green-yellow foliage that turns bronze in winter.
- 'Tetragona Aurea' grows to around 18 m tall, with a narrow crown and irregular branching, the scale leaves in 4 equal ranks and branchlets tightly crowded, green and gold.
The lignans chamaecypanones A and B, obtulignolide and isootobanone can be found in the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana. The biflavones sciadopitysin, ginkgetin, isoginkgetin, podocarpusflavone B, 7,7"-O-dimethylamentoflavone, bilobetin, podocarpusflavone A, 7-O-methylamentoflavone, amentoflavone and hinokiflavone have been confirmed in the leaves of the plant.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chamaecyparis obtusa.|
- Conifer Specialist Group (2000). Chamaecyparis obtusa. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
- Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. ISBN 1-84246-068-4.
- Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm. ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
- Lewis, J. (1992). The International Conifer Register Part 3: The Cypresses. London: Royal Horticultural Society.
- Welch, H.; Haddow, G. (1993). The World Checklist of Conifers. Landsman's. ISBN 0-900513-09-8.
- Tree Register of the British Isles
- Kuo, Y.-H.; Chen, C.-H.; Chiang Y.-M. (September 2001). "Three novel and one new lignan, chamaecypanones A, B, obtulignolide and isootobanone from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana". Tetrahedron Lett. 42 (38): 6731–6735. doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(01)01272-2.
- Krauze-Baranowska, M.; Pobłocka, L.; El-Hela, A. A. (September–October 2005). "Biflavones from Chamaecyparis obtusa". Z. Naturforsch. C 60 (9-10): 679–685. PMID 16320608.