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Platycladus orientalis

Pronunciation: Plat-ee-klad-us or-ee-en-tay-liss
Family: Cupressaceae (cypress family)
Common Name: Oriental arborvitae, oriental thuja, biota
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 50'
Width to: 20'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The numerous slender ascending branches support shoots that spread out in flat, vertical planes. The leaves are like little scales overlapping and tightly packed on the shoots. The oblong cones are about 1 in (2. 5 cm) long, held upright, and blue-green with a grayish waxy bloom. The cones are fleshy at first, becoming woody as they mature, and each of the 6-8 scales that cover the cone has a recurved, fleshy hook. Under the scales are wingless seeds.
Propagation: Propagate by seed which is produced abundantly and germinates readily.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - use oriental arborvitae for formal hedges and as specimen shrubs. This is a neat shrub with tight, compact foliage held in dense, fanlike vertical sprays. Even mature specimens keep their dense foliage all the way to the ground, making oriental arborvitae a good choice for screens and windbreaks. They are used to anchor doors or foundation plantings (but plan for ultimate size! ). The smaller cultivars are good in rock and succulent gardens. Oriental arborvitae is a good choice for chalky or alkaline soils that usually mean slow death for most cultivated plants. They do well on dry, rocky sites, and flourish even on crushed coral and sea shell "soils", although they are not very salt tolerant. Oriental arborvitae is one of the best evergreen shrubs for low maintenance xeriscape gardens, especially in areas with low annual rainfall. They have been popular with homeowners in the southern and southwestern u. S. , california, southern europe and eastern asia for many years. Old specimens sometimes can be found still persisting at abandoned home sites.  
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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