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All conifers, their classification, medicinal and decorative properties

All conifers, their classification, medicinal and decorative properties



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Conifers are a type of plant that has needle-like, scaly, or flat, striped leaves. These plants are predominantly evergreen.

Now on our planet, mainly trees grow from conifers, occasionally there are shrubs and creeping along the ground.

Content:

  1. Classification of conifers
  2. Benefit
  3. Healing properties
  4. Decorative conifers for the garden

Classification of conifers

All conifers are distinguished by small leaves and abundant branching. The conifer class is divided into two subclasses.

Cordaite

Extinct representatives of the flora. They were very large in size. They reached 30 m in height and 1 m in diameter.

They had leaves of various shapes and sizes from a few centimeters to a meter in length. Presumably they are the ancestors of modern conifers.

Conifers

The most numerous class of gymnosperms. There are 5 families, 55 genera, 600 species. They grow all over the planet with the exception of the Arctic and Antarctica.

All conifers are subdivided into families

Araucariaceae

They are subdivided into two kinds:

  • Araucaria. Distributed in the southern hemisphere, has 15 species.
  • Agathis. It grows in the tropics and subtropics. Representatives of this genus have a dense crown and a variety of leaves: lanceolate, round and needle-like.

They differ in that they shed the leaves along with the branches. There are 30 known varieties of agathis.

Podocarp (legcarp)

Represented by tall trees and shrubs. They prefer warm climates. Most common in East Asia and India. There are 130 species. Depending on the variety, they have different forms of foliage: lanceolate, scaly and needle-like.

Yew

They grow mainly in North America and Asia. Evergreen, with a lifespan of up to 4000 thousand years. Subdivided into 6 genera /

Torrey

It is subdivided into five types. It grows in North America and East Asia. The trees reach 25 meters in height. Leaves are linear, tough. All parts have an unpleasant odor.

Austrotaxus

Only one species belongs to it - Austrotaxus spikelet. It lives exclusively in the tropical forests of the center and north of the island of New Caledonia. In the south, for unknown reasons, it does not grow. It has lanceolate leaves and reaches a length of 25 meters. Also has signs of podocarpaceous.

Amentotaxus

There are four species that grow in the highlands of China and Vietnam. Evergreen trees and shrubs. They have long, dense leaves and bright red fruits that resemble berries.

Yew

It is divided into 8 types. They live in the northern hemisphere. They grow in the form of trees and shrubs. They have flat short needles and red round fruits, the crowns have a variety of shapes, which is appreciated in garden design.

Pseudotaxus

It grows exclusively in the eastern part of China in the form of shrubs and small trees. They have narrow-linear leaves.

Cephalotaxus

Evergreen trees and shrubs with narrow linear leaves. Previously, they were separated into a separate family, but on the basis of genetic research they were assigned to the yew. They live mainly in East Asia.

Cypress

They are divided into 19 genera and 130 species. They grow in the form of trees and shrubs of various sizes. Found in both hemispheres.

The most numerous genera are.

Cypress

There are from 14 to 25 species, depending on the scientific source. Most often found in the tropics and subtropics of the Northern Hemisphere in the form of trees and shrubs with a pyramidal or spreading crown. It has needle-like and scaly leaves.

Callitris

Includes 15 species native to Australia and New Caledonia. They are found in the form of small trees and large shrubs. They reach a height of 25 meters. They have needle-like and scaly leaves.

Juniper

It is divided into 75 varieties found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. One species is found in Africa. These are evergreen shrubs with needle-like and scaly leaves and cones in the form of berries.

Large shrubs form forests, medium ones grow between trees in light deciduous and coniferous forests. Small and creeping representatives live on rocky slopes and rocks.

The rest of the genus in the cypress family includes a small number of varieties.

Pine

Mostly evergreen trees and shrubs. Distributed in the temperate climate of the Northern Hemisphere.

Divided into 11 genera:

  • Fir. It is divided into 50 types. The trees grow in the temperate subtropical and tropical climates of the Northern Hemisphere. They have a pyramidal shape and needle-like leaves.
  • Kataya. It grows exclusively in China. It has only one species, numbering about 4500 specimens. Evergreens. They reach a height of 20 meters. They have linear leaves.
  • Cedar. There are four varieties. It lives mainly on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and the slopes of the Himalayas. It reaches a height of 50 meters. Needle leaves are collected in bunches, have a blue-green color.
  • Keteleeria. It is divided into three types. It is an evergreen tree with a conical crown. It reaches a height of 35 meters. It has flat needle-like leaves. It grows in Asia.
  • Larch. There are about 15 species. Represents trees up to 50 meters in height with a conical or rounded crown. It has soft leaves that turn yellow and fall off in autumn. It is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Nototsuga. It has only one species and grows exclusively in China in mountain forests.
  • Spruce. It has about 40 varieties. It grows throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Has a pyramidal crown and needle-like leaves. It can reach a height of almost 100 meters.
  • Pine. Evergreen trees and shrubs with needle-like leaves. Distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It has about 130 species.
  • Pseudolarch. Has only one grade. Deciduous tree with a tapered crown and soft, needle-like leaves. It reaches a height of 40 meters. It grows in China, Russia and Western Europe.
  • Pseudo-slug. An evergreen plant up to 140 meters in height. The lifespan can be over 700 years. It is divided into four types. It has conical needles. It lives in the highlands of North America, Japan and China, as well as in Central and Western Europe.
  • Hemlock. Includes 10 types. It grows mainly in Asia and North America. Has a conical or rounded crown with needle-shaped leaves. In length it can reach more than 50 meters.

The benefits of conifers

Man actively uses conifers in the chemical industry of alcohol, cellulose and various chemicals. Their wood is used for construction and furniture production. Furniture and mattresses are stuffed with cedar shavings.

Biologically active additives, vitamin flour, essential oils are obtained from needles of various breeds. The dust and fruits are used as fodder for livestock, and the nuts of some varieties of trees can be eaten by humans.

Coniferous plantations perfectly purify the air and have a beneficial effect on the ecological situation. They help clear erosion from the soil.

Healing properties

Conifers bring invaluable benefits to human health and beauty. Preparations and essential oils prepared from their extracts help to alleviate the condition in many diseases.

Fir

Fir oil perfectly heals wounds, relieves toothache and helps with sciatica. Baths with its addition help relieve fatigue and stress. Fir oil vapors help with colds. The branches of this tree can be used for steaming during bath procedures. Preparations with fir extract treat inflammation and insomnia.

Pine

The extract of this plant helps with kidney and respiratory diseases, cholelithiasis, rheumatism and skin damage. Pine cone infusions act as an expectorant and diuretic. Vapors of pine essential oils relieve respiratory diseases.

Siberian pine

Tincture of Siberian pine nuts (they are called "cedar") helps with diseases of the genitourinary system and nervous disorders. Nut milk improves the condition of tuberculosis. Eating nuts in their pure form helps with cardiovascular diseases, helps to strengthen the immune system. Pine resin relieves diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Spruce

A decoction of spruce needles helps to strengthen the immune system, acts as a diuretic. Infusions of spruce buds and cones help with colds.

The coniferous bathroom raises the tone of the body. Spruce oil is used in massage to relieve muscle and joint pain. Its vapors disinfect the air and cheer you up.

Juniper

Juniper berries and their oil are excellent pain relievers. The needles help relieve fatigue and stress. In folk medicine, it is used to treat alcoholism. Juniper needles perfectly cleanses the body, is an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cypress

Cypress preparations have antispasmodic properties, reduce sweating, and normalize hormonal balance. They relieve colic, help fight excess weight. Cypress oil has a beneficial effect on wound healing.

All coniferous plants perfectly purify the air. Their pairs help with colds and nervous disorders and perfectly strengthen the immune system.

The needles of these plants are often used for making home cosmetics. It rejuvenates the skin, saturates it with vitamins, and regulates the water-fat balance.

Products with coniferous extracts are used as deodorants and antifungal agents.

If you rinse your hair with infusions and decoctions of pine needles, you can get rid of dandruff, strengthen your hair, saturate it with vitamins and nutrients. Ephedra oils make hair silky and shiny.

Pine resin is used for depilation instead of wax. It also has a beneficial effect on problem skin. The resin of various types of conifers tones the skin and strengthens its blood vessels.

Due to its antiseptic and astringent properties, ephedra essential oils are used to prepare after-shave creams and lotions.

Decorative conifers for the garden

Many people prefer conifers in their garden and in their backyard.

This happens for a number of reasons:

  • Conifers and shrubs are unpretentious. They can grow in places with a lack of light and moisture.
  • Many varieties initially have a beautiful symmetrical crown and therefore do not need a haircut. And those that are in need are easy to trim.
  • The aroma from these plants is pleasant and has medicinal properties.
  • Due to the variety of shapes and sizes, you can choose varieties that will look good in large and small areas.
  • Conifers are mostly evergreen. They decorate the garden all year round. In addition, there is no need to clean up discarded foliage.
  • These trees and shrubs strengthen the soil.

Before planting conifers on a site, it is necessary to take into account the soil composition, climatic conditions of the area and compatibility with other plants, and then choose the right variety.

Having looked through the catalog of conifers, you can be amazed at how many types of conifers are suitable for the garden. Most often, yew, cypress and pine are used for these purposes.

Different varieties of conifers have different requirements for the illumination of the site.

The following plants are planted on the sunny side:

  • juniper;
  • Pine;
  • larch;
  • thuja;
  • spruce with golden needles.

Darker places prefer:

  • fir;
  • spruce with green needles;
  • hemlock;
  • yew.

In order for conifers to look spectacular in landscape design, you need to take into account the size that a particular plant can reach.

Tall trees are best planted in a single copy. So they attract attention to themselves and become the center of the composition. If there are many of them, then the garden will resemble a forest.

It is better not to plant large breeds near flower beds and light-loving plants. The giant will rob them of sunlight. You also need to take into account that its roots and crowns will need a lot of space over time. It is necessary to provide it with space in advance.

High varieties of spruce, pine, juniper and thuja will look good.

Medium-sized conifers can be planted in any quantity depending on the size of the plot. You cannot plant them at the base of tall trees. Foliage falling from above will interfere with their normal development.

Medium-sized ephedra can be planted at the entrance or along the path, create a hedge or composition. For these purposes, medium-sized spruce species, medium junipers and thuja, various varieties of yew are suitable.

Dwarf varieties of conifers look great in various compositions, decorate the lawn and gravel. They can be planted in pots and placed in front of the entrance to the house. You can choose creeping and dwarf conifers. For example, some types of hemlock, microbiota, and juniper.

Ephedra are distinguished by a variety of species and forms. They grow almost everywhere. These plants are pleasing to the eye in the wild and in home gardens. They help fight various diseases and help to improve a person's appearance.

Useful information about which conifers are better to grow in a suburban area:


Watch the video: Breakfast Club, Ep. 47: Dr. Nathalie Nagalingum on Holiday Plants (August 2022).