Microbiota decussata 'Prides' CELTIC PRIDE

Overall plant, late fall
Common Name: Russian arborvitae 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 2 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion


Easily grown in average, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best performance is in cool summer climates. Tends to perform poorly in climates with hot, humid summers. Intolerant of poorly-drained soils. Hardy in Zones 3-7.

'Prides' offers exceptional cold hardiness to Zone 2.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Microbiota decussata, commonly called Siberian cypress or Russian arborvitae, is a dwarf, evergreen conifer endemic to the Sikhote-Alin mountains of far-eastern Russia where it grows above the timberline on bald peaks. It forms a shrubby ground cover to 8-18” tall with indefinitely spreading stems that nod at the tips. May spread to as much as 10-12’. Feathery, soft-textured, scale-like (infrequently awl-shaped) foliage is arranged in flat, fan-like sprays reminiscent of arborvitae (Thuja). Plants also resemble in habit some of the horizontal junipers. Foliage is bright green in summer changing to bronze-purple in fall and winter. Fruits are tiny, spherical, berry-like cones (to 0.25” diameter) with woody scales.

Genus name comes from the Greek micro meaning "small" and Biota, an obsolete name for the related genus Platycladus.

The specific epithet decussata refers to the decussate arrangement of the foliage. The opposite pairs of scale-like leaves are held at right angles to the pairs above and below.

The common names for this plant refer to its native range and its shared physical characteristics with other plants in the cypress family.

'Prides' is a cold hardy and disease resistant selection of Siberian cypress that will reach 1-3' tall and spread to fill a 4-5' area. Often sold at nurseries and garden centers under the name CELTIC PRIDE.


Poorly drained soils will lead to root rot. Tends to falter when grown in climates with hot, humid summers. Deer tend to avoid this plant.

'Prides' offers improved disease resistance compared to the species.


Ground cover for banks and slopes. Specimen or ground cover for rock gardens, shrub borders or foundations. Is more shade tolerant than and is an interesting alternative to ground cover junipers.