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definitions - SCIADOPITYACEAE

Sciadopityaceae (n.)

1.family comprising a single genus that until recently was considered part of Taxodiaceae

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synonyms - SCIADOPITYACEAE

Sciadopityaceae (n.)

family Sciadopityaceae

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Sciadopitys

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Sciadopitys
Sciadopitys verticillata
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Pinophyta
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Sciadopityaceae
Luerss.
Genus:Sciadopitys
Siebold & Zucc.
Species:S. verticillata
Binomial name
Sciadopitys verticillata
(Thunb.) Siebold & Zucc.

The Koyamaki (Sciadopitys verticillata) or Japanese Umbrella-pine, is a unique conifer endemic to Japan. It is the sole member of the family Sciadopityaceae and genus Sciadopitys, a living fossil with no close relatives, and known in the fossil record for about 230 million years.

Sciadopitys verticillata foliage

It is an evergreen tree that can grow 15-27m tall, with brown main shoots bearing whorls of 7-12 cm long flexible green cladodes which look like, and perform the function of, leaves but are actually composed of stem tissues; occasionally, a cladode will be forked and produce a bud in the 'v' of the fork. The cones are 6-11 cm long, mature in about 18 months, and have flattish scales which open to release the seeds.

It is a very attractive tree and is popular in gardens, despite its slow growth rate and high cost.

Koyamaki was chosen as the Japanese Imperial crest for Prince Hisahito of Akishino, currently third in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The plant was first introduced to Europe by John Gould Veitch in September 1860.[1]

Infrared microspectroscopy has identified conifers of the family Sciadopityaceae as the principle source of Baltic amber rather than as previously thought members of the families Araucariaceae and Pinaceae.[2]

References

  1. ^ James Herbert Veitch (2006 reprint). Hortus Veitchii. Caradoc Doy. pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-9553515-0-2. 
  2. ^ Wolfe AP, Tappert R, Muehlenbachs K, Boudreau M, McKellar RC, Basinger JF, Garrett A. (2009). A new proposal concerning the botanical origin of Baltic amber. Proc Biol Sci. 276(1672):3403-12. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0806 PMID 19570786

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