FOTD – January 19 – ‘Bookleaf’ Dwarf Conifer

My dwarf conifer is in full ‘flower’ right now although each flower is, in effect, a ‘pine cone’!

The bookleaf conifer is a little hard to tie down as it seems to go by more than one name but i think it was bought as a Thuja orientalis ‘Aurea nana’ varietal. I have alternatively seen them called a Platycladus orientalis, a Chinese Arborvitae, a Cypress or a Cedar. The name comes from the latin for ‘Tree of Life’ (Arbor vitae) and it may well be the origin of the Tree of Life referred to in Genesis 3:22. (Not to be confused with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil).

The term ‘bookleaf’ refers to the unusual vertical, flat ‘leaf’ arrangement of the conifer needles which stand upright like many thin fans or book leaf pages from the central trunk.

(Click on a pic to open in a new window and click again to see enlarged detail!) 🙂lovewillbringustogether - bookleaf conifer1

lovewillbringustogether - bookleaf conifer3

lovewillbringustogether - bookleaf conifer2As far as i can tell this is a very unusual picture, having searched through many, many internet photos to identify it and having found nothing to compare with the sheer mass of seed cones that can be seen here. The shrub is over 20 years old and is about 3m (10ft) high and 2.5m (8 ft) wide.

link to:

Cee’s Flower of the Day – January 19, 2019 – Bearded Iris





  1. I think — but I am NOT sure — that they sell these as “house plants” in this country. I have never had one survive long enough to make flowers. They apparently need a lot of sun and living in a pot in a house doesn’t give them that. Those are absolutely beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Spike!

      I believe you are right about the sale as houseplants – i saw a few US sites offering them on Google in my hunt for the scientific name, but none of them had the seed pods on the plant!

      It was 42 degrees C here today (108F) and 40 yesterday – these plants are flourishing in this weather. You may need to move somewhere a little warmer in winter if you want to grow one? 😉


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