The Japanese falsecypress, also commonly known as the sawara falsecypress, is a medium to large-sized conifer. The tree is native to Japan but its planting potential has a widespread distribution across North America. The origin of its genus name "Chamaecyparis" is from the Greek words "chamai," meaning low growing, and "kyparissos," meaning cypress, which references its habitat and relationship to other genus members. Its species, "pisifera," means "bearing pea-like seeds," because of the small, rounded seeds and cones. The smaller rounded cones with fewer seeds are the characteristic that distinguishes the false cypress from the true cypress.