Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

CHAMAECYPARIS thyoides

Image of Chamaecyparis thyoides

James Burghardt

Family

Cupressaceae

Botanical Name

CHAMAECYPARIS thyoides

Plant Common Name

Atlantic Whitecedar

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Having finely textured dark green needles that blush purpled bronze in winter's cold, Atlantic whitecedar becomes a rather mundane, plump-columned tree. Native to the coastal plains of the eastern United States, from Maine to Florida and Mississippi, it is an evergreen conifer. The reddish, gray-brown bark is well hidden by the dense, prickly tufts of needled foliage. Ranging in color from gray-green to dark green with small white bands on undersides, the cold of winter causes leaves to become bronze or purple, too. Older needles tend to become more dull and drab, attaining a brownish green hue. Both male and female cones appear in late spring, being small and rounded. The female cones become less rounded and more scaly as they ripen from dark purple to light sienna brown. This tree's foliage is the exclusive larval foodsource for the rare Hessel's hairstreak butterfly.

Grow Atlantic whitecedar in moist, well-draining to soggy soils in full sunlight. Often seen growing in bogs alongside blueberries, this conifer is typically not seen as an ornamental, but useful as a natural accent or screen in lowland situations. However, two cultivars are of interest: 'Red Star' is a compact dwarf that turns purplish in winter, and 'Andelyensis' is better suited to foundations and less acidic soils, and has blue-green needles.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30'-45' / 9.1m - 13.7m

  • Width

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green

  • Fruit Color

    Copper, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Dark Green, Bronze, Plum

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    SpottedMottled

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Hedges, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No