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Genus: Thuja

Thuja Species in
Family: Cupressaceae

Five evergreen coniferous trees from North America and eastern Asia. They resemble Chamaecyparis but have somewhat larger scale leaves and ovoid to cylindrical cones composed of a few oblong scales, in some species hooked at the tips. As with Chamaecyparis, the seedling and young plant stages have longer spreading, juvenile leaves which in some cultivars remain throughout the life of the plant.


All the true species are too large for the rock garden but most of them have given rise to dwarf or pygmy mutant cultivars. Some of these make attractive specimens for the rock garden, raised bed and alpine house. Moist but well drained, ideally humus rich soil is required and plenty of light, though some shade is tolerated. Propagation by cuttings in autumn or spring. Autumn cuttings are best with a heel and placed in a cold frame. Spring cuttings do not need a heel and are best with bottom heat, ideally under mist. Dwarf cultivars do not come true to type from seed.