Two Unusual Chartreuse Evergreen Trees or Shrubs

When winter rolls around, gardeners can wonder how to keep color and interest in their garden. These two bright green evergreen trees and shrubs will help.

Evergreen plants provide plenty of winter interest in the garden. This is something most gardeners are vaguely aware of but may not think consciously about during the spring and summer when bright flowers take center stage. Using evergreen trees and shrubs as a foundation for the rest of your garden landscape, you will have garden color year round.

Chartreuse evergreen plants have bright green, almost lime or neon in appearance, stand out in the winter landscape. Even with overcast, muddy or drab winter weather, these chartreuse gems will add sparkle.

Lemon Thread Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)

Lemon Thread Falsecypress for Yellow Evergreen Plants

Image credit James H. Schutte via

This chartreuse evergreen conifer is hardy in zones 4-8. The Lemon Thread falsecypress is a bright yellow green conifer that, like other falsecypress trees, has almost threadlike foliage. A very unique conifer, falsecypress looks less like a “pine tree”, as many gardeners might suspect.

I find the unique texture of the falsecypress, a small tree that blends easily into the mixed border or garden landscape. A gardener could add falsecypress to almost any garden space with success. Falsecypress prefers full sun to part shade.

Lemon Thread falsecypress will grow 3-5 feet tall and about 3 feet wide with a loose pyramidal shape. The threadlike foliage hangs down slightly, giving this chartreuse evergreen a slightly weeping appearance.

Golden Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) Elegans Aurea

Golden Japanese Cedar with Yellow Winter Foliage

Great example of a young specimen from Forest Farm.

While oftentimes Japanese cedars can grow to be rather large specimen trees, there are dwarf forms available suitable for smaller gardens. They are often used for rock gardens, pond plantings or Japanese gardens as well. The chartreuse form is known as ‘Elegans Aurea‘ or golden Japanese cedar and has bright yellow-green needles instead of dark green needles.

Gardeners can expect the golden Japanese cedar to grow on average between 6-12’ tall and wide with some of the larger specimens stretching to 20 feet. These evergreen trees are hardy to zone 6 and prefer full to part sun.

Japanese cedars have short, aromatic needles that some people find irritating to the touch. Others will have no reaction. The flowers are nondescript and rather unnoticeable, so these evergreen trees are usually grown from their colorful foliage and long-lasting color.

When watering this bright colored evergreen tree, remember to not let the soil dry out too much while the tree is still being established. Most conifers are moderately drought tolerate, but will appreciate extra watering during very hot, or windy conditions.

Use these bright, chartreuse evergreen trees and shrubs to add some excitement to the backbone of your garden. Winter doldrums will be brighter with these uniquely colored plants as part of your year-round landscape.

About Angela England

Angela England has written 499 posts in this blog.

Founder of Untrained Housewife, Editor-in-Chief of Blissfully Domestic (, mother of five, wife of one, and God-seeker always.


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