Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Platycladus orientalis (L.f.) Franco

Fully-hardy, irregular or conical evergreen tree with erect branches and branchlets, very small, scale-like leaves, which often turn bronze in winter, and upright, flask-shaped, greyish female cones, to 2cm long.  To 15m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1752.  [JD].  ‘Thuja orientalis L. Sp. P1. 1002. 1753.  First described from Siberia.  Chi’en K’ou, No. 3.  Associated with Pinus, Juniperus, and Cotoneaster.  Very common.  A tree, up to 3 meters high, generally sprouting from old stumps.  The wood is used as fuel and for furniture, buckets, tubs, etc.’  [Contributions from the United States national Herbarium vol.28, p.595/1942].  ‘This tree is very rarely planted in central and western China and we never met with a spontaneous specimen in our travels.  It is probably a native of north-eastern China, Manchuria and Korea.’  [Plantae Wilsonianae vol.II, p.53/1916].  Flora Japonica Siebold & Zuccarini t.118/1870.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [C.91/1850].


Published Aug 03, 2009 - 03:56 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 05:13 PM

Pictured is a shoot with leaves and ripe, purple fruit + botanical details of seeds etc.  Flora Japonica t.118, 1870.

Platycladus orientalis (L.f.) Franco | Flora Japonica Siebold & Zuccarini t.118/1870 | Wikimedia Commons

Family Cupressaceae
Region of origin


  • Thuja orientalis L.
  • Biota orientalis Endl.
  • Platycladus orientalis (L.f.) Franco
  • Thuja acuta Moench
  • Platycladus stricta Spach.
Common Name

Chinese arbor-vitae, Biota

Name in the Camden Park Record

Thuja orientalis 

Confidence level high