Thujopsis dolabrata var. hondae Makino

Hiba Arborvitae, False Arborvitae

Family: Cupressaceae

Genus: Thujopsis

Parent: Thujopsis dolabrata

Category: Tree - Evergreen

Zones: (5)6 to 8

Size: In the wild 30 to 50' tall, 10 to 20' wide. In cultivation in the south to 3' tall and wider.

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


More compact habit, very dense, larger cones. Fan-like fronds, very flat on one side.

Ted Stephens notes that it has grown to 2' tall and 3.5' wide and is a spreading, dark green compact shrub. It is supposed to develop a central leader and grow rapidly upward but he says there is no sign of it. He grows it in dense shade with overhead irrigation and refers to it as a dwarf.

Dirr says that the further south the plant is grown, the more shade it should be given - he lists it as zones 5 to 7.


From northern Japan. Published in Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 15: 104 in 1901.

This differs from the species by the shape of the cone. It forms a beautiful and great forest near Awomori... in the northern Japan, where it is commonly known under the name Hinoki. The wood has the best quality and supplies superior timber, while that of the typical one is distorted and inferior.

I have name it in honour of Dr. Seiroku Honda, Professor of Dendrogical Institute, Agricultural College, Imperial University of Tokyo.

My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant from Nurseries Caroliniana in October 2011 and potted it up to sit by the hose by the courtyard gate. In spring 2014 I planted it in the Camellias And More garden.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner