Japanese False Cypress
"Women wear trousersThe February 2003 photo here at top right shows one of our two Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Mops' which are planted on the step-down in a rockery in front of a stone wall.
To trail round the shops;
Women in trousers
Wield brushes and mops."
-Cicely Fox Smith
These were planted about 2000 or maybe it was early 2001. They hadn't grown much by 2003. The third photo below (November 2004) shows the second 'Mops' getting some growth on it.
The larger top photo from November 2005 shows both specimens, one behind the other, separated by a square stepping stone, & some hen-&-chicks in front. They are still very small shrubs, but much larger than when they were planted.
'Mops' is a dwarf Threadleaf or Filiform variant with scale-like needles adhering to the branches. We also have a larger threadleaf cultivar of the same species, called 'Sungold.'
It's first year in the ground, one of the two 'Mops' was experiencing much dryer conditions than the other, due to radical drainage.
It had trouble getting its roots established because the raised soil wouldn't hold moisture for long at a time, & in 2001 it looked like it was going to die, having considerably browned.
I tried to remember to baby it a bit, & it did finally get its roots out & regained its golden-hued green, with partially pendulous disposition.
Not until 2004 did I build the soil up in that area, & these dwarf shrubs grew more between 2004 & 2005 than they had all the years previous, finally having richer moister soil around them, still with good drainage.
The little 2003 photo above, snapped when it had not grown much larger than when first planted but well after it had regained its looks after the being drought-damaged in 2001, can be compared to the November 2005 photo last on the page. It's the same specimen & it can be seen to has tripled in width though only a little taller.
These could eventually be three feet high & wide, & will eventually nearly hide the stepping stone between them, although that could take a few more years. Five foot tall & wide specimens are not impossible, but rarely seen.
The reason it is called 'Mops' (aka Mops Sawara, Gold Mops, Golden Mops, or Aurea Mops) is because it is generally about the size & with the appearance of a mop head.
We obtained the two 'Mops' along with a pair of C. pisifera 'Creamball' from a local nursery who obtained them from Iseli Nursery, a well-known grower & wholesaler in the Willamette Valley, specializing in dwarf evergreen conifers & bonsai.
Jean & Andre Iseli have introduced many new varieties of dwarf evergreens over the years, though this one is not original to them, having been introduced from the Netherlands in 1951.
'Mops' has thread-like golden evergreen branches. The golden or almond-yellow highlights are most striking in winter, fading to yellowish green toward summer.
Though it can do well in a little bit of shade, it will not have the same depth of golden color unless placed in full sun. As for all of the yellow cultivars of false cypress, there is some risk of winterburn in unsheltered spots.
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