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Microbiota decussata
  • RHS AGM

Russian arbor-vitae

M. decussata is a prostrate, evergreen shrubby conifer making a wide, dense mat, with small scale-like leaves turning bronze-purple in winter. Flowers inconspicuous, fruit berry-like, yellow-brown, 3mm in length

Other common names
Siberian carpet cypress

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Brown Yellow
Winter Bronze
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Cupressaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Matforming
Genus

Microbiota are low-growing or prostrate evergreen coniferous shrubs with tiny triangular green scale-like leaves becoming bronze in winter; flowers and cones are small and inconspicuous

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E Siberia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grows well in most moderately fertile soils in full sun. Useful in the shrub border, the leaves turn bronze in winter sometimes giving the impression that the plant has died

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in a seedbed in autumn or by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Rock garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Ground cover
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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