|Cupressaceae, Cypress family|
Cupressus - cypress
Juniperus - junipers
Sequoia - Coast redwood
Sequoiadendron - Giant Sequoia
Thuja - thuja
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.