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Woody > Microbiota > Microbiota decussata > Microbiota decussata 'Goldspot'

Microbiota decussata


Goldspot Siberian Carpet Cypress, Goldspot Russian Arborvitae

Origin:  Originated as a 'sport' found at Lime Cross Nursery, East Sussex, England by Allan Tate.
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A wonderful specimen/accent plant that has very unique colours to create four seasons of interest. With its consistent golden spots yet changing foliage colour, you get a very unique look no matter the time of year. Using it as a specimen plant will give Goldspot the attention it deserves. A very hardy plant and accepting of all soil types, Goldspot is very versatile and appealing to all. Microbiota decussata ‘Goldspot’ will give a creative and interesting look to your garden.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 – 6
Canadian Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
50 - 100 cm
1 – 1.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Microbiota decussata ‘Goldspot’ is an evergreen spreading ground cover with yellow variegation that remains year-round even as the foliage changes colour towards autumn and winter.
Goldspot is grown as a specimen, accent or ground cover. Although M. decussata ‘Goldspot’ is advertised as a “juniper for shade”, it flourishes in full sun and moist well drained soils. It has no preference for any specific soil type or soil pH. Its habit is low, spreading, and thick and it has good urban tolerance and is very cold hardy.
Not particular to any specific soil type or pH, M. decussata 'Goldspot' will grow in sand, silt, and clay soils as long as it is well drained but remains moist. Although commonly referred to as a juniper for shade as it will survive in partial shade but requires full sun to flourish.
Downward sloping stem tips are tightly netted together and its low spreading nature create a thick mat.
ID Characteristic
It is a low ground cover plant with bright yellow variegation mixed in with its green summer colour and purple to brown winter colour. Leaves are noticeably scaled and appear similar to those of a Juniper. The stem tips droop downwards and are tightly knitted together.
Although Microbiota decussata ’Goldspot’ is commonly mistaken for a juniper, it is not susceptible to the same pests. This makes it a good alternative to a juniper monoculture. It is also rarely susceptible to root rot caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, a fungal pathogen and is relatively pest free.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Bark is red-brown in colour, but not ornamentally significant as the branches are slender and covered by leaves. New bark has a yellow tint present that darkens with age.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Buds are inconspicuous and 3-5 mm in size. Increased growth from elevated nutrient levels can cause a decrease in flower bud growth.
Leaf Description
Foliage is noticeably scaled, feathery, and flat in appearance. Bright yellow variegation appears year round. Goldspot scales are green in colour in summer, and brown to purple in winter. The scales are imbricated, triangular (almost awl-like), and are 2-4 mm in length.
Flower Description
Goldspot’s flowers are inconspicuous and small, yellow in colour and bloom in May. Microbiota decussata ‘Goldspot’ is monoecious, however, both male and female flowers are sterile
Fruit Description
Sterile flowers will not produce fruit.
Colour Description
The leaves of M. decussata ’Goldspot’ are variegated with brilliant yellow. Flowers are yellow, yet insignificant in spring time. New bark growth is yellowish in colour and darkens to reddish-brown with age.
Texture Description
Medium texture consistent throughout the year.
Notable Specimens
Whistling Gardens, Wilsonville, Ontario,Canada and the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Missouri, United States of America.
Propagation is very successful by semi hardwood stem tip cuttings that are taken in summer, with roots appearing in 1-3 months.
Farjon, Aljos. A monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Richmond, Surrey, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2005. Print. "Trees and shrubs from seed / Royal Horticultural Society." Home / RHS Gardening. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. .