Field of Science


Common juniper Juniperus communis, from Rasbak.

Belongs within: Pinopsida.

The conifer family Cupressaceae includes cypresses (Cupressus), junipers (Juniperus) and related taxa. The family has previously been divided between the Cupressaceae and Taxodiaceae, but most recent authors combine the two. Many species are significant timber trees, while the 'berries' (actually fleshy seed cones) of junipers are used for cooking (and are also the main flavoring agent in gin). The giant redwood Sequoiadendron giganteum is the world's largest (though not tallest) tree.

Characters (from Watson & Eckenwalder): Trees or shrubs, evergreen (rarely deciduous), generally resinous and aromatic, monoecious (sometimes dioecious). Bark fibrous and furrowed (occasionally smooth or exfoliating in plates). Lateral branches well developed, similar to leading shoots, twigs terete, angled, or flattened dorsiventrally (with structurally distinct lower and upper surfaces), densely clothed by scalelike leaves or by decurrent leaf bases; longest internodes to 1 cm; buds usually undifferentiated and inconspicuous. Roots fibrous to woody (rarely bearing aboveground "knees"). Leaves simple, usually persisting 3-5 years and shed with lateral shoots (cladoptosic) (rarely shed annually), alternate and spirally arranged but sometimes twisted so as to appear 2-ranked, or opposite in 4 ranks, or whorled, deltate-scalelike to linear, decurrent, sessile or petioled; adult leaves appressed or spreading, often differing between lateral and leading shoots (twigs heterophyllous), sometimes strongly dimorphic on each twig with lateral scale-leaf pairs conspicuously keeled; juvenile leaves linear, flattened, spreading; often with solitary abaxial resin gland; resin canal present. Pollen cones maturing and shed annually, solitary, terminal (rarely in clusters of 2-5, axillary, or in terminal panicles), simple, spheric to oblong; sporophylls overlapping, bearing 2-10 abaxial microsporangia (pollen sacs); pollen spheric, not winged. Seed cones maturing in 1-2 seasons, shed with short shoots or persisting indefinitely on long-lived axes (rarely shattering at maturity), compound, solitary, terminal (rarely in clusters of 2-5 or axillary); scales overlapping or abutting, fused to subtending bracts with only bract apex sometimes free; each scale-bract complex peltate, oblong or cuneate, at maturity woody or fleshy, with 1-20 erect (rarely inverted with age), adaxial ovules. Seeds 1-20 per scale, not winged or with 2-3 symmetric or asymmetric wings; aril lacking; cotyledons 2-9.

<==Cupressaceae [Taxodiaceae]
    |--Fitzroya cupressoides GT02
    |--Platycladus orientalis K02, L02b
    |--Austrocedrus chilensis K02, MF05
    |--Calocedrus K02
    |--Fokienia hodgsoni K02, VP93
    |--Thujopsis dolabrata [=Thuja dolabrata] LO98
    |--Geinitzia reichenbachii GT02
    |--Cunninghamia K02
    |--Metasequoia glyptostroboides G02
    |--Sequoiadendron giganteum G02
    |--Austrosequoia wintonensis P00
    |--Taxodioxylon gypsaceum JD05
    |--Quasisequoia couttsiae JD05
    |--Cupressoconus rhenanus JD05
    |--Taxodium K02
    |    |--T. ascendens M83
    |    `--T. distichum Z02
    |--Cryptomeria GT02
    |    |--C. fortunei L02a
    |    `--C. japonica GT02
    |--Chamaecyparis MH98
    |    |--C. obtusa MH98
    |    `--C. pisifera LO98
    |--Arthrotaxis GT02
    |    |--A. cupressoides GT02
    |    `--A. selaginoides GT02
    |--Taiwania GT02
    |    |--T. cryptomerioides K02
    |    `--T. flousiana GT02
    |--Glyptostrobus K02
    |    |--G. lineatus G02
    |    `--G. pensilis K02
    |--Otakauia Pole 1995 P00
    |    |--*O. lanceolata P00
    |    `--O. macchatiensis Pole 2000 P00
    |--Actinostrobus GK00
    |    |--A. acuminatus GK00
    |    `--A. pyramidalis GK00
    |--Tetraclinis JD05
    |    |--T. articulata K02
    |    `--T. brachyodon JD05
    |--Libocedrus K02
    |    |--L. bidwillii A27
    |    |--L. doniana A27
    |    `--L. tetragona D03
    |--Thuja FF01
    |    |--T. occidentalis JDW90
    |    |--T. orientalis MH98 [=Biota orientalis LO98]
    |    |--T. plicata C84
    |    `--T. standishii [=Thuyopsis standishii; incl. Thuyopsis sauarrosa] LO98
    |--Cupressinoxylon (nom. cons.) JD05 [=Retinodendron (nom. rej.) S03]
    |    |--C. glyptostrobium JD05
    |    |--C. polonicum JD05
    |    |--C. ponderosum JD05
    |    `--C. sequoianum JD05
    |--Sequoia GT02
    |    |--S. ambigua GT02
    |    |--S. carbonaria JD05
    |    |--S. concinna GT02
    |    |--S. langsdorfi S89
    |    `--S. sempervirens GT02
    |--Cupressus CD07
    |    |--C. arizonica R-CT01
    |    |--C. macrocarpa E02
    |    |--C. sempervirens Linnaeus 1753 CD07
    |    |    |--C. s. var. sempervirens Y98
    |    |    `--C. s. var. horizontalis Y98
    |    `--C. torulosa SN88
    |--Callitris RL05
    |    |--C. canescens G04
    |    |--C. cupressiformis C59
    |    |--C. glauca B88
    |    |--C. glaucophylla B05
    |    |--C. intratropica MM09
    |    |--C. preissii RL05
    |    |    |--C. p. ssp. preissii G04
    |    |    `--C. p. ssp. verrucosa G04
    |    |--C. robusta G29
    |    |--C. roei G04
    |    `--C. tuberculata G04
    `--Juniperus K02
         |--J. ashei CS00
         |--J. californica MBJ83
         |--J. chinensis MH98 [=Sabina chinensis LO98]
         |    |--J. c. var. chinensis MH98
         |    `--J. c. var. sargentii MH98
         |--J. communis G02
         |--J. conferta G02
         |--J. deppeana SZ03
         |--J. drupacea G02
         |--J. ekmanii J87
         |--J. foetidissima D30
         |--J. indica SN88
         |--J. lucayana M93
         |--J. monospermae C90
         |--J. nana C74
         |--J. oxycedrus G02
         |    |--J. o. ssp. oxycedrus Y98
         |    `--J. o. ssp. macrocarpa Y98
         |--J. phoenicea Linnaeus 1753 PL04
         |--J. pinchotii A70
         |--J. procumbens MH98
         |--J. recurva SN88
         |--J. rigida G02
         |--J. squamata SN88
         |--J. thurifera C55
         `--J. virginiana E01

*Type species of generic name indicated


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