Platycladus orientalis (common name Oriental arbor-vitae) is native to China, Korea and Russian Far East. This group was previously classified as Thuja orientalis. I have not come across a Platycladus orientalis that I would consider not ornamental.
Platycladus orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’
At the time when I started gardening, a ‘dwarf conifer’ commonly available in the market here is called ‘Berchmann cedar’ which I believed is supposed to be Platycladus orientalis ‘Aurea’ of some kind. I liked its neat compact habit and glowing lime green colour so much that I bought many, and put them around the garden. With the exception of a couple of them, most eventually grow very tall (3-4m high). I believe most of these are just clones somewhere between ‘Aurea’ and Aurea Nana’. ‘Aurea’ is a name considered by some to be no longer recognizable and should not be used. For my purpose as a gardener, I will keep this group of Platycladus orientalis as ‘Aurea’ in my book. I still like them, and consider them far more ornamental than many ‘New’ dwarf conifers. I have a couple of seedlings from them that stay neat and compact.
Platycladus orientalis ‘Marjolein’
This slow growing variegated Platycladus orientalis is a beauty. It was discovered as a sport from an ‘Aurea Nana’ by Nelis Kools of Netherlands, and named after his wife. It is one of the most ornamental variegated conifers in my garden with its fresh dark green foliage contrast nicely with the almost pure white variegation, compact and slow growing.
Platycladus orientalis ‘Morgan’
This Platycladus is noted for its reddish purple winter colour. The colour tone can vary depending on the winter condition. It appears to be relative slow growing; a very desirable attribute for Platycladus orientalis as a garden plant.
Platycladus orientalis ‘Rosedalis Compacta’
This is one of the earliest conifers I acquired. Other than its compact globe form, I like its 3 seasonal colour changes: pale yellowish green in spring, grey green in summer, and purplish in winter.
Platycladus orientalis ‘Weedom’
This Platycladus orientalis probably has the brightest glowing lime green spring colour compare to others in the group in my garden. It is supposed to be a compact form, but my plant appears to be relatively loose and fast growing.