Flora of Southwest Virginia
Phylum Coniferophyta

This is a conspicuous group of woody plants commonly known as the "conifers". The members of this group produce ovules that mature into seeds. These ovules and seeds are found on the upper surfaces of scale structures which often are clustered into "cones". The Coniferophytes are considered "gymnosperms" (as are the Ginkgophytes) due to the fact that the seeds are exposed in the cone scales rather than being enclosed within an ovary as in the Angiosperms (flowering plants). All conifers are woody plants and many form very large trees. Most conifers are evergreen, however, Metasequoia glyptostroboides (see below) is one locally cultivated, non-native example of a conifer that is deciduous (it sheds all of its leaves and grows a new set each year).
*NOTE: Family placement  follows Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

Click on one of the species names below to view image
Family Pinaceae

Family Cupressaceae Family Taxodiaceae (now considered a group within the Cupressaceae)

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