scales, bright green, yellowish brown in the winter
cones, blue frosted, scaled, 1 - 1.5 cm
solitary, hedge plant
all types, preferably not too wet
6 - 7
Biota orientalis, Platycladus orientalis
Sturdy conifer that can grow into a small tree. Grows compactly, particularly when young, with twigs vertical against the main branch. Later it grows more broadly and looser. The trunk is reddish brown and peels off in narrow strips. The flattened twigs have many branches and the scales are stacked like roof shingles. They are bright yellowish green and turn yellowish brown in the winter. They are smaller than those of other Thuja species. The flowers and small cones are relatively unremarkable. The plant is sensitive to hard wind but tolerates salty air, as long as it is sheltered. The species is often planted in temple gardens in China. The plant is often called Biota or Platycladus there, a name that is not used in Europe. There are many known cultivars of T. orientalis, generally more popular than the species is.