The distinguishing characteristic is the reproductive structure known as a cone produced by all Pinales. All of the extant conifers, such as cedar, celery-pine, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, and yew, are included here. Some fossil conifers, however, belong to other distinct orders within the division Pinophyta.
The yews had been separated into a distinct order of their own (Taxales), but genetic evidence indicates yews are monophyletic with other conifers and they are now included in the Pinales.
(approximate number of species in parentheses)
Actinostrobus is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae (cypress family). Common names include cypress, sandplain-cypress and cypress-pine, the last of these shared by the closely related genus Callitris.Araucaria araucana
Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, piñonero, or Chilean pine) is an evergreen tree growing to 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in diameter and 30–40 m (100–130 ft) in height. It is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Because of the longevity of this species, it is described as a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population caused by logging, forest fires, and grazing.Araucaria cunninghamii
Araucaria cunninghamii is a species of Araucaria known as hoop pine. Other less commonly used names include colonial pine, Queensland pine, Dorrigo pine, Moreton Bay pine and Richmond River pine. The scientific name honours the botanist and explorer Allan Cunningham, who collected the first specimens in the 1820s.Araucariaceae
Araucariaceae – also known as araucarians – is a very ancient family of coniferous trees. The family achieved its maximum diversity during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, when it was distributed almost worldwide.
Most of the Araucariaceae in the Northern Hemisphere vanished in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, and they are now largely confined to the Southern Hemisphere, except for a few species of Agathis in Southeast Asia.Athrotaxis
Athrotaxis is a genus of two to three species (depending on taxonomic opinion) of conifers in the cypress family, Cupressaceae. The genus is endemic to western Tasmania, where they grow in high altitude temperate rainforests.They are medium-sized evergreen trees, reaching 10–30 m (rarely 40 m) tall and 1-1.5 m trunk diameter. The leaves are scale-like, 3–14 mm long, are borne spirally on the shoots. The cones are globose to oval, 1–3 cm diameter, with 15-35 scales, each scale with 3-6 seeds; they are mature in 7–9 months after pollination, when they open to release the seeds. The male (pollen) cones are small, and shed their pollen in early spring.They are very susceptible to bush fires, and have declined markedly in abundance due to accidental and deliberate fires since the European colonisation of Tasmania.Athrotaxis laxifolia
Athrotaxis laxifolia is a species of Athrotaxis, endemic to Tasmania in Australia, where it grows at 1,000–1,200 m altitude.It is an evergreen coniferous tree growing to 10–20 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The leaves are scale-like, 4–12 mm long and 2–3 mm broad, arranged spirally on the shoots. The seed cones are oblong-globose, 15–26 mm long and 14–20 mm diameter, with 14–18 spirally-arranged scales; they are mature about six months after pollination. The pollen cones are 3–5 mm long.Its status in the wild is little-known; it is the rarest of the three species of Athrotaxis. It is in many respects intermediate between Athrotaxis cupressoides and Athrotaxis selaginoides, and it is strongly suspected of being a natural hybrid between these two; however, genetic evidence for this is inconclusive.Away from its native range, it is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental tree in northwestern Europe. Despite being the rarest of the three in the wild, it is the most frequently planted Athrotaxis in cultivation, though still only seen in major collections; trees in Ireland have reached 20 m tall.Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides is a species of Athrotaxis, endemic to Tasmania in Australia, where it grows at 400–1,120 m altitude. In its habitat in the mountains, snow in winter is very usual. It is often called King Billy Pine or King William Pine (believed to be in reference to the Tasmanian aborigine William Lanne), although it is not a true pine.It is an evergreen coniferous tree growing to 20–30 m tall, with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter. The leaves are claw-like, 7–18 mm long and 3–4 mm broad, arranged spirally on the shoots. The seed cones are globose, 15–30 mm diameter, with 20–30 spirally-arranged scales; they are mature about six months after pollination. The pollen cones are 4–5 mm long.The main cause of past decline has been fire, with about one third of its habitat burnt in the twentieth century. Like the other two Athrotaxis species, A. selaginoides is sensitive to fire. Another cause of past decline has been logging. The overall decline is estimated to be about 40% over the last 200 years. This is within the three generation time limit where one generation is estimated to be at least 100 years. Although 84% of forests are now in protected areas, fires still are a potential hazard. Tasmanian Government policy precludes logging of this species in and outside these protected areas.Away from its native range, it is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental tree in northwestern Europe. It succeeds in Scotland where it receives the necessary rainfalls for its good growth and produces fertile seeds there.Austrocedrus
Austrocedrus is a genus of conifer belonging to the cypress family (Cupressaceae). It has only one species, Austrocedrus chilensis, native to the Valdivian temperate rain forests and the adjacent drier steppe-forests of central-southern Chile and western Argentina from 33°S to 44°S latitude. It is known in its native area as ciprés de la cordillera or cordilleran cypress, and elsewhere by the scientific name as Austrocedrus, or sometimes as Chilean incense-cedar or Chilean cedar. The generic name means "southern cedar".
It is a member of subfamily Callitroideae, a group of distinct southern hemisphere genera associated with the Antarctic flora. It is closely related to the New Zealand and New Caledonian genus Libocedrus, and some botanists treat it within this genus, as Libocedrus chilensis, though it resembles Libocedrus less than the other South American cypress genus Pilgerodendron does.It is a slow-growing, narrowly conical evergreen tree which grows from 10–24 m in height, with scale-like leaves arranged in decussate pairs. The leaves are unequal in size, with pairs of larger (4–8 mm) leaves alternating with pairs of smaller (2–3 mm) leaves, giving a flattened shoot. Each leaf has a prominent white stomatal stripe along the outer edge. The cones are 5–10 mm long, with four scales, two very small sterile basal scales and two large fertile scales; each fertile scale has two winged seeds 3–4 mm long.Cordilleran cypress is found in the evergreen mountain forests of the Andes, usually on drier sites within the rainforest, in open pure woods (where it is often locally dominant on the eastern slopes of the Andes in southwestern Argentina) or in association with Araucaria araucana and Nothofagus species.It has been introduced to northwest Europe and the Pacific Northwest of North America, where it is occasionally grown in botanical gardens.Callitris canescens
Callitris canescens is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family. It is found only in Australia.Callitris drummondii
Callitris drummondii, or Drummond's cypress, is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family. It is found only in Western Australia. It is threatened by habitat loss.Callitris endlicheri
Callitris endlicheri, commonly known as the black cypress pine, is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family. It is found only in Australia.Callitris monticola
Callitris monticola, or dwarf cypress, is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family. It shares the common name with several other plants.
It is found only in Australia.
It is threatened by habitat loss.Callitris muelleri
Callitris muelleri is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family. It is found only in New South Wales, Australia.Callitris rhomboidea
Callitris rhomboidea, or Oyster Bay pine, is a species of conifer in the family Cupressaceae.
It is found only in Australia. It is native to South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, and has also naturalised in parts of Victoria and Western Australia.
One of the few islands it is found on is Taillefer Rocks in Tasmania.Callitris verrucosa
Callitris verrucosa is a species of conifer in the family Cupressaceae. It is found only in Australia.Fitzroya
Fitzroya is a monotypic genus in the cypress family. The single living species, Fitzroya cupressoides, is a tall, long-lived conifer native to the Andes mountains of southern Chile and Argentina, where it is an important member of the Valdivian temperate rain forests. Common names include alerce ("larch" in Spanish), lahuán (Spanish, from the Mapuche Native American name lawal), and Patagonian cypress. The genus was named in honour of Robert FitzRoy.Pinaceae
The Pinaceae (pine family) are trees or shrubs, including many of the well-known conifers of commercial importance such as cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces. The family is included in the order Pinales, formerly known as Coniferales. Pinaceae are supported as monophyletic by their protein-type sieve cell plastids, pattern of proembryogeny, and lack of bioflavonoids. They are the largest extant conifer family in species diversity, with between 220 and 250 species (depending on taxonomic opinion) in 11 genera, and the second-largest (after Cupressaceae) in geographical range, found in most of the Northern Hemisphere, with the majority of the species in temperate climates, but ranging from subarctic to tropical. The family often forms the dominant component of boreal, coastal, and montane forests. One species, Pinus merkusii, grows just south of the equator in Southeast Asia. Major centres of diversity are found in the mountains of southwest China, Mexico, central Japan, and California.Podocarpaceae
Podocarpaceae is a large family of mainly Southern Hemisphere conifers, comprising about 156 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. It contains 19 genera if Phyllocladus is included and if Manoao and Sundacarpus are recognized.
The family is a classic member of the Antarctic flora, with its main centres of diversity in Australasia, particularly New Caledonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, and to a slightly lesser extent Malesia and South America (primarily in the Andes mountains). Several genera extend north of the equator into Indochina and the Philippines. Podocarpus reaches as far north as southern Japan and southern China in Asia, and Mexico in the Americas, and Nageia into southern China and southern India. Two genera also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the widespread Podocarpus and the endemic Afrocarpus.
Parasitaxus usta is unique as the only known parasitic gymnosperm. It occurs on New Caledonia, where it is parasitic on another member of the Podocarpaceae, Falcatifolium taxoides.The genus Phyllocladus is sister to Podocarpaceae sensu stricto. It is treated by some botanists in its own family Phyllocladaceae.Taxaceae
Taxaceae (), commonly called the yew family, is a coniferous family which includes seven genera and about 30 species of plants, or in older interpretations three genera and 7 to 12 species.
They are many-branched, small trees and shrubs. The leaves are evergreen, spirally arranged, often twisted at the base to appear 2-ranked. They are linear to lanceolate, and have pale green or white stomatal bands on the undersides. The plants are dioecious, rarely monoecious. The male cones are 2–5 millimetres (0.079–0.197 in) long, and shed pollen in the early spring. The female cones are highly reduced, with just one ovuliferous scale and one seed. As the seed matures, the ovuliferous scale develops into a fleshy aril partly enclosing the seed. The mature aril is brightly coloured, soft, juicy and sweet, and is eaten by birds which then disperse the hard seed undamaged in their droppings. However, the seeds are highly poisonous to humans, containing the poisons taxine and taxol.