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Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana ‘Ivonne’ (or Yvonne) is a medium sized, hardy evergreen conifer that has an impressive conical form and signature golden yellow foliage, particularly in winter.
Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana (Lawson's Cypress or False Cypress) is the UK’s most popular garden conifer. The variety Ivonne (sometimes referred to as Yvonne) is a recent, disease-resistant cultivar developed in Oregon State University and prized for its golden-yellow foliage.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Ivonne is immediately recognizable by its yellow hued leaves. It has flat, soft needles of bright yellow-green from spring to summer, changing to an almost golden colour during the winter months. As the foliage matures, the leaves become closely pressed together in flat sprays. The foliage is fragrant.
Each Lawson’s Cypress Ivonne tree produces small male (white turning red) and female (blue turning green) flowers in spring / summer. The female flowers go on to develop into small, brown cones.
The growth form of False Cypress Ivonne is particularly attractive. It growths slowly with a pronounced columnar habit. It matures to a narrow, upright, compact conifer with a dense branching habit. As it ages, it becomes slightly wider at the base. If you wish to grow Lawson’s Cypress Ivonne as a tree, do not prune it as it has a naturally conical form.
Coming from the West Coast of the United States, Lawson’s Cypress Yvonne prefers full sun but it will also grow quite happily in partial shade. It will grow in any well-drained soil but it does have a preference for lightly acidic soil. While it is hardy, it is best not to plant it in a very exposed spot as it foliage won’t look at its best. Neither does it like to be waterlogged.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Ivonne is grown widely in the UK as an ornamental tree. Use it for adding an elegant burst of golden-yellow to the garden. It is helpful to wildlife as the dense evergreen foliage provides shelter for nesting birds in late winter /early spring. Thanks to its dense growth habit and its tolerance of pruning, Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana Ivonne can be used for topiary - for example Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana Ivonne spirals and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Ivonne Pom Pom.
The Chamaecyparis family of conifers is related to the Cypress (Cupressaceae) family. It is sometimes referred to as False Cypress, as opposed to ‘true’ Cypress which is Cupressus Leylandii. It originates from California and was first introduced to Britain in the 1850s as seeds sent to Lawson’s nursery in Edinburgh, hence the name. Today Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana, according to Kew gardens, is one of the most popular garden trees in the UK and there are many ornamental cultivars available including the blue Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Columnaris.
The Lawason Cypress is unlikely to exceed 5m at full height.