Sciadopitys

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"Umbrella Pine" redirects here. For the other tree species less commonly referred to by this name, see Pinus pinea.
Sciadopitys
Temporal range: 230–0Ma
Sciadopitys verticillata.jpg
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.

Sciadopitys verticillata, koyamaki, 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 from "Flore des serres et des jardins de l'Europe"

Its genus name comes from the Greek prefix sciado- meaning "shadow" and pitys, meaning "pine"; the specific epithet means "with whorls".

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 that 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 that open to release the seeds.

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

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 principal source of Baltic amber rather than as previously thought members of the families Araucariaceae and Pinaceae.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James Herbert Veitch (2006). Hortus Veitchii (reprint ed.). 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

External links[edit]