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THUJA occidentalis 'Rheingold'

Image of Thuja occidentalis 'Rheingold'

James H. Schutte

Family

Cupressaceae

Botanical Name

THUJA occidentalis 'Rheingold'

Plant Common Name

Eastern Arborvitae, White Cedar

General Description

It is likely that no native American evergreen is more prevalent in the North American landscape than arborvitae. Long popular for its rich golden foliage, 'Rheingold' is a compact slow-growing conical form of this eastern North American native. This circa 1900 introduction has flattened fan-like sprays of soft, feathery foliage that fairly glows in the winter landscape. The leaves emit a pungent odor when bruised. The small tan female cones are not ornamentally significant.

This cultivar performs best in full to part sun and acidic to neutral soil with average drainage. It needs winter protection from strong winds and afternoon sun, which cause leaf scorch. It may also need protection from heavy snow and browsing deer. Cold-hardy and highly versatile, it is an excellent choice for foundation plantings, mixed borders, and containers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Gold

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Gold

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Gold

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Yellow, Light Yellow, Gold

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No