Cupressaceae

Cupressaceae, Cypress family
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Cupressaceae
Genera
Actinostrobus
Athrotaxis
Callitris
Calocederus
Chamaecyparis
Cryptomeria
Cunninghamia
Cupressus - cypress
Diselma
Fitzroya
Fokienia
Glyptostrobus
Juniperus - junipers
Libocedrus
Metasequoia
Neocallitropsis
Pilgerodendron
Platycladus
Sequoia - Coast redwood
Sequoiadendron - Giant Sequoia
Taiwania
Taxodium
Tetraclinis
Thuja - thuja
Thujopsis
Widdringtonia

The Family Cupressaceae is known as the Cypress family of cosmopolitan distribution. The family includes dioecious and monoecious coniferous trees and shrubs from 1m to 112m tall, in 26 genera (14 monotypic) with perhaps 125 species. Bark of mature trees is commonly orange- to red- brown and of stringy texture, often peeling in vertical strips, but smooth, scaly or hard and square-cracked in some species. Leaves are either spiral, decussate (opposite) or whorled, and more needle-like on young plants, or small and scale-like on mature plants of many (but not all) species. Cones are either woody, leathery, or berry-like and fleshy, with one to several ovules per scale. Seedlings usually with two cotyledons, occasionally up to six.

The family is now widely regarded as including the Taxodiaceae, previously regarded as a distinct family but now shown not to differ from the Cupressaceae in any consistent character.

Many of the species are important timber sources, especially in the genera Chamaecyparis, Cryptomeria, Cupressus, Juniperus, Sequoia, and Thuja. Many are also of great importance in horticulture.

References

  • Farjon, A. 1998. World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 300 p. ISBN 1 900347 54 7.
  • Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 706 p. ISBN 0 521 34060 8.

External Links


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