Microbiota decussata
Common name: 
Russian Arborvitae
Siberian Cypress
mi-kro-bi-O-ta day-ku-SA-ta
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Conifer, evergreen ground cover, low and wide spreading, 1 ft high (30 cm) but 9-12 ft (ca. 3-4 m) wide, somewhat reminiscent of Juniperus horizontalis, however its branch tips nod downward which makes it easy to differentiate it from spreading jumpers, whose branch tips tend to point upward.  Scale-like or awl-shaped leaves in opposite pairs, each leaflet small and pointed, dull green in summer, bronzy-reddish in winter.
  • Full sun to light shade.  Grows in a wide range of soils.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2      Discovered near Vladivostok, Russia in 1921.
  • Microbiota: micro, small, biota, Greek name of genus Thuja;   decussata: leaves in pairs, each pair at right angle to the pair above or below.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • branches, summer

    branches, summer

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • branchlets, summer

    branchlets, summer

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • branchlets, winter

    branchlets, winter

  • leaves, winter

    leaves, winter

  • plant habit, spring, turning back to green

    plant habit, spring, turning back to green