Pinales ("conifers")

Families of Vascular Plants - Botany 307F


Conifers native to Ontario

Pinaceae Cupressaceae Taxaceae
Habit evergreen (except Larix) evergreen trees or shrubs evergreen trees or shrubs
Leaves needle-like, borne singly or in tufts (on short shoots) scale-like, shed with lateral shoots after 3-5 y needle-like, spirally arranged
Pollen spheric, winged (or not, in Larix) pollen spheric, not winged pollen spheric, not winged
Seeds on scales of compound cones, winged on scales of compound cones, 2-winged (Thuja), or wingless (Juniperus) solitary, terminal, and surrounded by aril
Ontario genera Abies, Tsuga, Larix, Picea, Pinus Juniperus, Thuja Taxus
 
Images from Botany at the University of Hawaii
Images from Botany at the University of Hawaii
Images from Botany at the University of Hawaii
 

FNA - Pinaceae

FNA - Cupressaceae

FNA - Taxaceae

 

Note: Use your browser's BACK function to return to the course page from these pages.


 

Exotic Conifers


Sciadopityaceae - restricted to central and southern Japan, with "needles" that are actually photosynthetic needle-like short shoots in the axils of tiny, bract-like leaves.

Southern Hemisphere (predominantly):

Note: Use your browser's BACK function to return to the course page from these pages.


[Back to top]

Black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP)

Pinaceae

Black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) ovulate cone; this species is a major component of the boreal forest, especially on wetter sites. Note the needles arranged singly on the twig (compare with Tsuga, Pinus, and Larix, below).

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]

Pinaceae

 

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière) ovulate cones of current and previous years. Note the needles arranged singly on the twig (compare with Pinus and Larix, below); in contrast with Picea (above), hemlock needles twist on their bases so as to appear to be arranged in two ranks.

Photo: R. Presgrave © 2000 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]  
scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Pinaceae

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) with ovulate cone; native to Eurasia, this species was one of the first to be introduced to North America. Note the needles arranged in clusters of two along the twig (compare with Picea, above). A hard pine (two vascular bundles in needle).

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]
eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.)

Pinaceae

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) ovulate (left) and microsporangiate (right) cones. Note the needles arranged in clusters of five along the twig (compare with Picea, above). A soft pine (one vascular bundle in needle).

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]
Tamarack (Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Koch)

Pinaceae

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Tamarack (Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Koch) ovulate cones; this species is a minor component of the boreal forest, especially on wetter sites. Two kinds of shoots are formed: long shoots, with needles arranged singly on the twig, and short shoots with many needles in a cluster (the needle clusters of Pinus species, above, can be interpreted as reduced short shoots).

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]
White cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.)

Cupressaceae

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

White cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) ovulate cones; this species is widespread in eastern Canada, especially on wet sites over limestone. Extremely old individuals (over 700 y) may be found, as on the Niagara escarpment in Ontario, or in northern Québec

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]
eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.)

Cupressaceae

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) ovulate cones; this species is widespread in eastern North America, often in old fields where woody vegetation is returning; host of the telial stage of the rust fungus Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae, the aecial stages of which occur on apples and hawthorns. Both scale leaves (shown here; cf. T. occidentalis, above) and needle leaves (cf. J. communis, below) are produced.

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]
common juniper (Juniperus communis L.)

Cupressaceae

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Common juniper (Juniperus communis L.) ovulate cones; this shrub is widespread throughout the northern hemisphere. Note the exclusively needle-like leaves.

Photo: M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum

[Back to top]
Yew (Taxus sp.)

Taxaceae

(APW: includes Cephalotaxus)

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Yew (Taxus sp.). On the left, note the fleshy, red aril surrounding the seed; at right, microsporangiate strobilus. Eastern yew (T. canadensis Marsh.) is an understory shrub of eastern Canada; western yew (T. brevifolia Nutt.) is a small tree of the western rockies and coastal Pacific northwest.

Photo: left, M. Ferguson © 1997 Royal Ontario Museum; right, R. Presgrave © 2000 Royal Ontario Museum.

[Back to top]

Farrar 1995

Sporne (1974)


| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |

|EEB 337H Home Page | What's New | U of T Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | University of Toronto |

© 2008 Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and 1996-2006 Botany Department, University of Toronto.

Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 11-Oct-2008