Hello, I am looking for the scientific name for what is commonly called flat leaf cedar. It has defined platelets, wonderful cedar smell, older trees have shaggy bark, in winter some of its sprays turn brown and drop, has small cones in clusters, sometimes used as tea, used by Native Americans, can grow quite tall, branches droop... Thank you very much.
Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) is the scientific name of the flat leaf cedar, and USDA Plants will show you an image. Interestingly, it is probably the first North American tree introduced into Europe, it was discovered by French explorers and grown in Paris about 1536. The year before, tea prepared from the foliage and bark, now known to be high in vitamin C, saved the crew of Jacques Cartier from scurvy. It was named arborvitae, Latin for "tree-of-life," in 1558. Click here and scroll down to find a recipe for flat cedar tea. More information about arborvitaes can be found at this website.
More Plant Identification Questions
Need an ID on a wisteria in Austin October 12, 2010 - I bought a different type wisteria several years ago, before I started trying to grow native plants. It is the same type wisteria as the one planted at Threadgills on Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX.... view the full question and answer
Seeds of Castilleja purpurea April 12, 2012 - The seed photo for Castilleja purpurea is incorrect; seeds are black and poppyseed size.
view the full question and answer
ID of plant from florist in Moorestown NJ November 21, 2009 - I recently purchased a cut stem from the local florist for an autumn flower arrangement. The leaves are very, very small and bamboo-like in looks. They are not oval and are 1/8 inches long. The bra... view the full question and answer
Plant Identification from Pearland TX August 10, 2013 - I am looking for a native plant; was told it was called Hummingbird Weed. Came from Coryell County. I let mine freeze and cannot find more. It has long spikes with small red trumpet-shaped blooms on ... view the full question and answer
Is this a sycamore tree in Houston TX? July 13, 2009 - I believe I have a 6 year old American Sycamore planted in front of my condo. There are no seed pods (balls) ever on this tree. I thought all Sycamores have those. Is my tree too young to produce the ... view the full question and answer