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Platycladus orientalis


Platycladus orientalis

Family Name: Cupressaceae
Synonyms: Biota orientalis, Thuja orientalis, Platycladus stricta, Thuja chengii, Thuja orientalis var. argyi
Common Name: Oriental Arbor Vitae, Oriental Thuja, Chinese Abor-Vitae, Tree of Life, 侧柏


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Gymnosperms (Non-Flowering Seed Plants) (Conifer)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical


Native Distribution China, Japan
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Foliage The leaves are triangular scales with a blunt point and arranged in decussate pairs. Leaves emit an odor when bruised.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: The  ripe seeds, leaves and twigs are used in Chinese medicine. The seeds, sweet to the taste, are used as a sedative in the treatment of minor headache, insomnia, palpitation and as a coagulant. The leaves are bitter-sweet and astringent, used to treat fever, bleeding of the nose, vomiting of blood and blood in the urine.They are also used to increase the menstrual flow.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses General, Hedge / Screening, Focal Plant

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Drought Tolerant, Well-Drained Soils, Poor Infertile Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Scaly
Foliar Modification Scale-like
Foliar Type Compound
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Monoecious

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Cone or Strobilus Type Arcesthida(Cupressaceae [Juniperus], Ephedraceae [Ephedra])

Image Repository



Master ID 1776
Species ID 3069
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.