Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zones A3, 2B, 3-6, 15-17, 31-43
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’

Dwarf Hinoki Cypress
Evergreen, Shrubs


Conifers ranging from rock garden shrublets to timber trees. Sometimes mistaken for arborvitae (Thuja), but arborvitae’s leaves are entirely green, while false cypresses have white lines on leaf undersides. Most have two distinct types of foliage: juvenile and mature. Juvenile leaves are short, needlelike, soft but often prickly; they appear on young plants and some new growth of larger trees. Mature foliage consists of tiny, scalelike, overlapping leaves. Cones are small and round.

All of the many varieties sold are forms of five species—two from the western U.S., two from Japan, one from the eastern U.S. New varieties appear each year, while older ones lose market share. Mislabeling is common, since many of these plants closely resemble one another. Numerous dwarf and variegated kinds are available, providing a rich array of choices for bonsai and rock gardens.

Pinch out or cut back tips of new growth to control size and shape; don’t cut back into old, leafless wood. All types, including trees, can be sheared into hedges. All need good drainage and protection from wind.

Chamaecyparis obtusa

Native to Japan. The species grows to 30 ft. tall, but most Hinoki cypresses are selected varieties. There are dozens of golden, dwarf, and fern-leafed forms.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’

Click to Enlarge

‘Nana Gracilis’

A miniature of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’, this dwarf grows to only 4 ft. tall.

You Might Also Like...

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’

This selection is a slender, upright tree to 20 ft. with nodding branch tips.


These woodland and meadow natives all have whorls of narrow leaves spaced at intervals along thin, usu...

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’

A miniature of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’, this dwarf grows to only 4 ft. ta...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More