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Thuya

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Thuya (Bot) Same as Thuja.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n thuya A genus of conifers (the arbor-vitæ), of the tribe Cupressineæ and subtribe Thuyopsidinæ. It is distinguished from Cupressus, the cypress, by its smaller, less indurated cones, and usually complanate leafy branches. The 4 species are natives of North America and eastern Asia. They are evergreen trees and shrubs with a very characteristic habit, having the flat leaf-like branchlets almost wholly covered by small appressed imbricated leaves, some of which are awl-shaped and slightly spreading; others, on different branchlets, are blunt, scale-like, and adnate. The small ovoid or oblong cone rarely exceeds half an inch in length, and is usually composed of from three to six pairs of coriaceous scales, dry and spreading when ripe, the lowest and uppermost empty, the others bearing two or three seeds each. The typical species, T. occidentalis, the arbor-vitæ, or white cedar, of the northern United States, forms extensive cedar-swamps from Minnesota to central New York and New Brunswick, and occurs on rocky banks and along the mountains to North Carolina. It is usually a small tree, but is sometimes from 50 to 70 feet high. It is cultivated for lawns and hedges, and yields a valuable light-brown wood, a very aromatic oil, and a tincture used as an emmenagogue. T. gigantea, the canoe-cedar, or red cedar, of the West, found chiefly from Alaska to Oregon, is a large tree often from 100 to 135 feet high and 12 feet in diameter. One is said to have measured 22 feet in diameter and 325 in height. The trunk rises often for 100 feet as a columnar shaft free from branches. The trunks were hollowed out by the Indians into canoes. The dull reddish-brown wood—which is light, soft, compact, easily worked, and, as in the other species, slow to decay—is greatly valued for cabinet-work, interior finish, cooperage, etc. The bark yields a fiber which is made into hats, mats, and baskets. In cultivation it is often known by the names of T. plicata and T. Lobbii, and in Europe as Libocedrus decurrens, by an early exchange with the true Libocedrus, the incense-cedar of California. The other commonly cultivated species, T. (Biota) orientalis, the Chinese arbor-vitæ, native of eastern Asia, is parent of numerous varieties remarkably different in habit, with bright-green, golden, silvery, or variegated spray, closer and more vertical than in the tree of the Atlantic coast, or drooping, elongated, and slightly cylindrical iu the variety pendula, the weeping arbor-vitæ. Several other species formerly classed here are now separated, as the genera Thuyopsis and Chamæcyparis. Compare also Retinospora.
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Usage

In literature:

Thuya applied to the surface of the tumor.
"An Epitome of Homeopathic Healing Art" by B. L. Hill
All the species and beautiful varieties of Cupressus, Thuya, and Juniperus are very valuable in a young state.
"Trees and Shrubs for English Gardens" by Ernest Thomas Cook
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