Platycladus is a distinct genus of evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae, containing only one species, Platycladus orientalis, also known as Chinese thuja, Oriental arborvitae, Chinese arborvitae, biota or oriental thuja. It is native to northwestern China, Korea, and the Russian Far East (Amur + Khabarovsk). It is also now naturalised as an introduced species elsewhere in Asia: eastward to Japan; southward to northern India; and westward to northern Iran
It is a small, slow-growing tree, to 15–20 m tall and 0.5 m trunk diameter (exceptionally to 30 m tall and 2 m diameter in very old trees). The foliage forms in flat sprays with scale-like leaves 2–4 mm long. The cones are 15–25 mm long, green ripening brown in about eight months from pollination, and have 6–12 thick scales arranged in opposite pairs. The seeds are 4–6 mm long, with no wing
It is used as an ornamental tree, both in its homeland, where it is associated with long life and vitality, and very widely elsewhere in temperate climates. Several cultivars have been selected, of which 'Aurea nana' and 'Elegantissima' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.