Not many Australian native plants are deciduous but the white cedar is an exception. It is very adaptable in a range of soils and conditions, doing well in most parts of Australia. The leaves turn yellow in late autumn and fall to display the tawny bunches of fruit, which are followed in late spring by new foliage and fragrant sprays of pale mauve flowers.
It is not suitable for a small garden, but if you have a large garden and need a tree which will provide shade and perfume in summer but let the winter warmth in, then why not think about a white cedar?
Bear in mind that white cedar has weedy properties so it is best planted well away from native bushland. It is considered a weed in south-eastern USA, parts of the Pacific and New Zealand. While it is native to northern states of Australia and New South Wales, it has become naturalised both within these states and in Victoria. White cedar can easily invade and naturalise in both disturbed and undisturbed areas. The plant is capable of producing large amounts of bird-dispersed seeds thus enabling it to colonise an area if left unchecked.
This species has caused death in domestic animals and in children. Fruits are most often implicated but the leaves also appear to be toxic