Botanical Name – Biotae orientalis
Chinese Name – BAI ZI REN
English Name – Biota Seed
Biotae orientalis (or Platycladus orientalis) is a distinct genus of evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae, containing only one species. It is commonly known as Chinese thuja, Oriental arborvitae, Chinese arborvitae, biota or oriental thuja. The plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs.
It is native to northeastern parts of eastern Asia and north Asia, but is also now naturalised as an introduced species elsewhere in Asia.
Biota is a slow-growing tree native to China and can reach a height of about 14metres. It grows best in moist soil and when cultivated, biota produces vast quantities of seeds. Both the seeds and branches are used in healing.
Resistant to drought, it is very often 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.