Chamaecyparis obtusa

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Chamaecyparis obtusa
Chamaecyparis obtusa5.jpg
Tree in Osaka-fu, Japan
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Chamaecyparis
Species:
C. obtusa
Binomial name
Chamaecyparis obtusa
Subspecies

Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana

Chamaecyparis obtusa (Japanese cypress, hinoki cypress[2] or hinoki; Japanese: or hinoki) is a species of cypress native to central Japan,[3][4] and widely cultivated in the temperate northern hemisphere for its high quality timber and ornamental qualities, with many cultivars commercially available.

Description[edit]

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.

Related species[edit]

The plant is widespread in Japan. The related Chamaecyparis pisifera (sawara cypress) can be readily distinguished in its having pointed tips to the leaves and smaller cones.[3][4] 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.[3][4]

Timber[edit]

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. For example, Horyuji Temple and Osaka Castle are built from hinoki wood. The hinoki grown in Kiso, used for building Ise Shrine, are called 御神木 go-shin-boku "divine tree".

Hinoki wood is used as a traditional Japanese stick incense for its light, earthy aroma.

Hinoki (and sugi) pollen is a major cause of hay fever in Japan.

Ornamental cultivation[edit]

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.

Cultivars[edit]

Over 200 cultivars have been selected, varying in size from trees as large as the wild species, down to very slow-growing dwarf plants under 30 cm (12 in) high. A few of the best known are listed below.[5][6][7] Those marked agm have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017).[8]

  • 'Crippsii’agm[9] makes a broad conic golden-green crown with a vigorous leading shoot, growing to 15–20 m (49–66 ft) or more tall
  • ‘Fernspray Gold’agm[10] - 3.5 m (11 ft), arching sprays of green/yellow branches
  • ’Kamarachiba’agm[11] - spreading shrub, 45 cm (18 in) tall by 100 cm (39 in) wide, sprays of yellow-green
  • 'Kosteri'agm[12] - sprawling dwarf to 2 m (6.6 ft) tall by 3 m (9.8 ft) wide, with brilliant green foliage
  • 'Lycopodioides' reaches up to 19 m (62 ft) tall, with somewhat fasciated foliage.
  • 'Minima' - under 10 cm (3.9 in) after 20 years with mid-green foliage
  • ‘Nana’agm[13] - dark green, rounded dwarf shrub to 1 m (3.3 ft)
  • 'Nana Aurea'agm[14] - 2 m (6.6 ft), golden tips to the fans and a bronze tone in winter
  • 'Nana Gracilis'agm[15] - crowded fans of tiny branches producing richly textured effects; often cited as dwarf but has reached 11 m (36 ft) tall in cultivation in Britain
  • 'Nana Lutea'agm - compact, slow-growing, golden yellow selection which has become very popular; yellow counterpart to 'Nana gracilis'
  • 'Spiralis' is an erect, stiff dwarf tree
  • 'Tempelhof' growing to 2–4 m (6.6–13.1 ft) with green-yellow foliage that turns bronze in winter
  • 'Tetragona Aurea' grows to around 18 m (59 ft) tall, with a narrow crown and irregular branching, the scale leaves in 4 equal ranks and branchlets tightly crowded, green and gold
  • ‘Tsatsumi Gold’agm[16] - 2 m (6.6 ft), contorted branches, yellow-green foliage

Chemistry[edit]

The lignans chamaecypanones A and B, obtulignolide, and isootobanone can be found in the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana.[17] 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.[18]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (2000). "Chamaecyparis obtusa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. ISBN 1-84246-068-4.
  4. ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm. ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
  5. ^ Lewis, J. (1992). The International Conifer Register Part 3: The Cypresses. London: Royal Horticultural Society.
  6. ^ Welch, H.; Haddow, G. (1993). The World Checklist of Conifers. Landsman's. ISBN 0-900513-09-8.
  7. ^ Tree Register of the British Isles
  8. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 16. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  9. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  10. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Fernspray Gold'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  11. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Kamarachiba'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  12. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Kosteri'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  13. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  14. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Aurea'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  15. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana gracilis'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  16. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Tsatsumi Gold'". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  17. ^ Kuo, Y.-H.; Chen, C.-H.; Chiang Y.-M. (2001). "Three novel and one new lignan, chamaecypanones A, B, obtulignolide and isootobanone from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana". Tetrahedron Letters. 42 (38): 6731–6735. doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(01)01272-2.
  18. ^ Krauze-Baranowska, M.; Pobłocka, L.; El-Hela, A. A. (2005). "Biflavones from Chamaecyparis obtusa" (PDF). Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C. 60 (9–10): 679–685. PMID 16320608.

External links[edit]

Media related to Chamaecyparis obtusa at Wikimedia Commons