Gardening Magazine

Platycladus Orientalis ‘Elegantissima’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Platycladus orientalis 'Elegantissima' (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Cupressaceae

Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ is an evergreen conifer tree with a conical, upright habit. Its light green leaves are scale like, up to 4mm long and appear as flattened sprays. Its leaves appear yellow in spring and darkens as the season progresses. Its flowers are insignificant. Its fruit are cones, initially green, maturing to brown and are up to 25mm long.

Platycladus orientalis 'Elegantissima' Leaf (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ Leaf (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The species Platycladus orientalis, commonly known as Chinese Arborvitae or Oriental Thuja, is native to north west China. It is the only species within the genus Platycladus.

The etymological root of the binomial name Platycladus is derived from the Greek platus meaning ‘broad’ and klados meaning ‘branch’. Orientalis is from the Latin meaning ‘from the East’.

The landscape architect may find Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ useful as a small, compact evergreen tree. This tree may be used as a dense hedging species.

Platycladus orientalis 'Elegantissima' Seed (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ Seed (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ seeds may be attractive to some birds.

Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’  prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Platycladus orientalis ‘Elegantissima’ requires little maintenance.


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