Sawara [Japanese], sawara false-cypress, sawara cypress.
Closely allied to Ch. formosensis; q.v. for differences.
Large evergreen tree with straight trunk and open, narrow, pyramidal crown. Bark reddish-brown, fibrous, shreddy, peeling in long thin strips. Juvenile leaves acicular, 6 mm long, spreading in 4 rows, blue-green, whitish beneath. Mature leaves 3 mm long, scalelike, sharp-pointed, overlapping, opposite in 4 rows, top pair flattened, side pair keeled, shiny green above, whitish-green beneath. the scales 8-10, each scale smoothly rounded and minutely mucronate Female cones resembling a wrinkled green pea in size and shape (hence pisifera): globose, 5-8 mm in diameter, green, turning dark brown, short-stalked, usually composed of 10 scales; scales strongly depressed when dry with a tiny point in the center, the apical pair of scales fused. There are 1-2 broad-winged seeds beneath each scale (Little 1980, Frankis 1999).
Commonly to 21 m tall and 60 cm dbh (Little 1980).
Widely planted as an ornamental; several numerous cultivars, with the juvenile-foliaged 'Squarrosa' and semi-juvenile 'Plumosa' and similar derivatives abundantly planted (Frankis 1999).
In Japan, an important timber species (Little 1980).
Frankis, M.P. Personal observations, email 1999.02.03.
This page co-edited with M.P. Frankis, 1999.02.
Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.
Last Modified 2012-11-28