Conifers - This group of plants is critical
to wildlife. They provide cover and shelter to wildlife.
What are conifers?
The name "conifer" comes from Latin and means "to
bear cones." Although cones are a common feature of most conifers,
junipers and yews are two exceptions that produce berry-like
fruit. They are also referred to as "Evergreens".
The best method of identifying a conifer is to look
at the leaves. Conifers are usually evergreen trees or shrubs with
linear, needle-like or scale-like leaves, though some such as larch
and cypress drop their leaves in autumn.
Among the conifers are some of the smallest, largest
and oldest living woody plants known. The more than 500 conifer
species are distributed worldwide and are invaluable for their
timber as well as their adaptability as garden plants for year-round
Conifers in the landscape
The diversity of available conifers for the
landscape is tremendous. Nurseries and plantspeople around the world
are devoted to the discovery and introduction of new selections that
vary in size, form, color and texture. There has been special
interest in the group of conifers classified as "dwarf conifers."
One definition of a dwarf conifer is one that fails to attain the
size and stature of the parent plant.