Brief Description of the Gymnosperms

CUPRESSACEAE - Cypresses, Pencil Pine, King Billy Pine

Trees or shrubs, mostly of either wet or dry environments. Foliage usually smelling of pines. Leaf arrangement opposite and decussate, in whorls of three or four or spiral. Leaves linear and spreading, or appressed scales. Foliage usually dimorphic, with spreading linear juvenile foliage. Leaf bases usually decurrent down the stem. Female cones often with several ovuliferous scales, bract scales usually woody, forming a dense symmetrical cone protecting the immature seeds. 1-12 ovules per bract scale. Male cones with many scales. Roots without nodules. Genera include Arthrotaxis and Diselma.

 

PODOCARPACEAE - Huon Pine, Celery-topped Pine, Mountain Plum Pine

Trees or shrubs, mostly of wet, rarely disturbed environments. Foliage usually smelling of pines. Leaf arrangement opposite and decussate or spiral. Leaves leaf like and spreading, linear and spreading, appressed scales or plants with short shoots flattened into phylloclades. Leaf bases usually decurrent down the stem. Foliage of scale leaved species dimorphic, with spreading linear juvenile foliage. Female cones usually with few ovuliferous scales, occasionally with many scales (e.g. Microcachrys), seeds usually exposed, bract scales or other subtending parts often fleshy and palatable, occasionally woody (e.g. Microstrobos) or dry (e.g. Lagarostrobos). Ovules solitary on bracts scales. Male cones with many scales. Roots with nodules. Genera include Microcachrys, Microstrobos, Phyllocladus and Podocarpus.