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||Native to Japan, this single-species genus is highly regarded there, planted around temples and in gardens, for its reliably slow-moderate growth, rich texture and densely pyramidal form. Thick, glossy, scale-like leaves are bright green on top with a vivid silver-white band beneath. Red-brown, peeling bark adds to the plant's appeal. Site this treasure in bright shade where it gets consistent moisture. Sometimes called Hiba or False Arborvitae, it resembles Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) with bolder foliage. Selected for the Great Plant Picks list compiled by the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden.
|Thujopsis dolabrata 'Aurea'
||A selection of the well-regarded Japanese native, this large shrub or tree has the same prominent, glossy scales on large, flattened sprays as the species, but its foliage has bright-yellow highlights on top and white bands beneath. Dense, broadly conical and known in the trade since 1866, the rarely-seen, under-utilized 'Aurea' prefers moist, cool conditions.
|Thujopsis dolabrata 'Nana'
||A highly desirable, flat-topped, dwarf form, this mounding plant grows slowly and stays small without pruning, which makes it an excellent choice for mass plantings. Thick, green, scale-like leaves on flattened sprays have striking, white bands beneath. Foliage takes on olive-green tones in winter. More common in the trade than other forms, it prefers moist, cool conditions and is said to have low appeal to browsing deer.