Cupressaceae Gray

First published in Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2: 222, 225. 1822 [10 Jan 1822] (1822)nom. cons.
This family is accepted

Descriptions

Gemma Bramley, Anna Trias-Blasi & Richard Wilford (2023). The Kew Temperate Plant Families Identification Handbook. Kew Publishing Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Recognition
Characters of similar families: Araucariaceae: monoecious (Agathis, usually, and Wollemia), or dioecious (Araucaria). Leaves evergreen, often broad to acicular; pollen cones large, 5–20 microsporangia; seed cones erect and disintegrating on the tree when mature, ovuliferous scale bearing a single ovule. Pinaceae: leaves acicular, linear to long in whorls, seed cone scales free from bract, usually 2 seeds per scale. Taxaceae: pollen cones axillary, seed partially or wholly surrounded by fleshy or leathery aril.
Morphology General Habit
Trees or prostrate shrubs, evergreen or deciduous, monoecious or dioecious, aromatic, resinous
Morphology General Bark
Bark fibrous or brittle, exfoliating in longitudinal strips or small plates
Morphology General Buds
Winter buds mostly absent
Morphology Leaves
Leaves simple, alternate and spirally arranged, sometimes twisted appearing 2-ranked, opposite in 4 ranks, or whorled; deltate to linear, sessile or petiolate; adult leaves appressed or spreading, often twigs heterophyllous, sometimes strongly dimorphic on each twig (Thuja, Thujopsis, Libocedrus, and Calocedrus) with lateral scale-leaf pairs conspicuously keeled, glandular, crowded, green shining or slightly glaucous; juvenile leaves linear, flattened, spreading, often with a solitary abaxial resin gland
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pollen
Pollen cones terminal, rarely axillary, solitary or sometimes clustered in groups of 2–7, sessile on foliage branches; microsporophylls spirally arranged; microsporangia abaxial, free 2–10(–14) per microsporophyll
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds are wingless or with 2 or 3 wings; aril lacking; cotyledons 2–5 (to 9 in Taxodium). Seed cones terminal (some appear axillary), sessile or pedunculate, solitary or rarely in clusters of 2–5 (to 100 in Widdringtonia); scales spirally arranged in whorls of 3–4, fused to subtending bracts, but sometimes with only the bract apex free, each scale bract complex peltate, oblong or cuneate, woody or fleshy at maturity, bearing 1–20 ovules
Distribution
Cupressaceae is on all continents except Antarctica and contains ca. 30 genera with ca. 140 species found, many of which are economically valuable. The family was formerly divided into two families: Cupressaceae, with whorled or opposite (4-ranked) leaves, and Taxodiaceae, with mostly alternate leaves. Molecular studies have shown a closer relationship, so they are now united.
Note
Trees or shrubs. Leaves simple, spirally arranged, deltate to linear often appearing scale-like, twigs often heterophyllous. Pollen cones with 2–7 microsporangia. Ovuliferous scales in whorls of 3–4, each bearing 1–20 ovules.
Description Author
Harry Baldwin & Tony Kirkham
[KTEMP-FIH]

Timothy M. A. Utteridge and Laura V. S. Jennings (2022). Trees of New Guinea. Kew Publishing. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Note
A relatively large family with 30 genera, many monospecific like the one we are concerned with here, Papuacedrus H.L.Li.
Morphology General Habit
Conifers with small, decussate scale leaves of unequal pairs and with small, woody seed cones.
Distribution
This is the only cosmopolitan family of gymnosperms occurring on all continents except Antarctica. This family is mostly absent in Malesia, with just one genus and species, Papuacedrus papuana (F.Muell.) H.L.Li (with two poorly defined varieties) which is near endemic to New Guinea and only occurs outside that island in a few localities in the Moluccas. This genus is related to Libocedrus Endl. which occurs in New Caledonia and New Zealand and is part of a clade of ‘southern’ (Gondwanan) genera and species in the family (subfam. Callitrideae; Farjon, 2005).
[TONG]

Cupressaceae, John Lewis. Flora Zambesiaca 1:1. 1960

Morphology General Habit
Trees or shrubs, monoecious or dioecious
Morphology Leaves
Leaves on adult plants scale-like, appressed and apparently decussate; on juveniles subulate, spreading and spirally arranged or irregularly disposed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Cones
Staminate strobili in small cones, terminal or on short lateral shoots; scales few, subpeltate, bearing 2-many pollen sacs Mature female strobilus usually a cone with woody peltate persistent opposite scales, sometimes a berry-like fruit with fleshy confluent scarcely distinguishable scales Female strobili of 1–12 scales; scales woody or fleshy
sex Male
Staminate strobili in small cones, terminal or on short lateral shoots; scales few, subpeltate, bearing 2-many pollen sacs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Ovules 1-many per scale, erect
sex Female
Mature female strobilus usually a cone with woody peltate persistent opposite scales, sometimes a berry-like fruit with fleshy confluent scarcely distinguishable scales Female strobili of 1–12 scales; scales woody or fleshy
[FZ]

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Trees of New Guinea

    • Trees of New Guinea
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • The Kew Temperate Plant Families Identification Handbook

    • The Kew Temperate Plant Families Identification Handbook
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0