Chamaecyparis pisifera (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl., Syn. Conif. 64 1847. (Syn: Chamaecyparis pisifera var. filifera Hartw. & Rümpler …; Chamaecyparis plumosa (Ed.Otto) Beissn.; Chamaecyparis squarrosa Siebold & Zucc. ex Endl.; Cupressus pisifera (Siebold & Zucc.) F.Muell. ..; Cupressus squarrosa Lawson ex Gordon; Retinispora lycopodioides Gordon; Retinispora pisifera Siebold & Zucc.; Retinispora plumosa Carrière; Retinispora squarrosa Siebold & Zucc.; Retinispora stricta Gordon; Thuja pisifera (Siebold & Zucc.) Mast.);
Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara Cypress or Sawara Japanese: サワラ Sawara) is a species of false cypress, native to central and southern Japan, on the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū.
It is a slow-growing coniferous tree growing to 35–50 m tall with a trunk up to 2 m in diameter. The bark is red-brown, vertically fissured and with a stringy texture. The foliage is arranged in flat sprays; adult leaves are scale-like, 1.5–2 mm long, with pointed tips (unlike the blunt tips of the leaves of the related Chamaecyparis obtusa (Hinoki Cypress), green above, green below with a white stomatal band at the base of each scale-leaf; they are arranged in opposite decussate pairs on the shoots. The juvenile leaves, found on young seedlings, are needle-like, 4–8 mm long, soft and glaucous bluish-green. The cones are globose, 4–8 mm diameter, with 6–10 scales arranged in opposite pairs, maturing in autumn about 7–8 months after pollination.
A related cypress found on Taiwan, Chamaecyparis formosensis (Formosan Cypress), differs in longer ovoid cones 6–10 mm long with 10–16 scales. The extinct Eocene species Chamaecyparis eureka, known from fossils found on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada, is noted to be very similar to C. pisifera.
It is grown for its timber in Japan, where it is used as a material for building palaces, temples, shrines and baths, and making coffins, though less valued than the timber of C. obtusa. The wood is lemon-scented and light-colored with a rich, straight grain, and is rot resistant.
(From Wikipedia on 8.12.13)
Chamaecyparis pisifera (Siebold & Zuccarini) Endlicher,
Evergreen tree with flattened slightly drooping branches and acuminate leaves, glossy above and two white lines beneath; female cones hardly 5-6 mm in diameter with scales depressed in center.
Photographed from SFO, California.