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(cypress), a family of coniferous evergreen shrubs or trees. The leaves, which are opposite or in whorls of three, are scale-like or needle-shaped. The antheral spikes are small and are usually found on the apices of short shoots. The pollen has no air sacs, grooves, or pores. The cones are woody or, less frequently, baccate (in the genus Juniperus). The ovuliferous scales, which are peltate and appressed, and the sterile bract are initially fused. The ovuliferous scales subsequently separate from the bract and become attached to stems (in the genus Cypressus). In some species the ovuliferous scales, which are initially flat, imbricate, and appressed, gradually bend backward (in the genera Libocedrus and Biota).
There are 20 known genera, with approximately 145 species, distributed throughout both hemispheres. Various species of the genera Cypressus, Juniperus, Thuja, and Biota are found in gardens and parks.
The wood obtained from these bushes and trees is used in the manufacture of various products, including furniture. The wood of some species of Juniperus is used for making the casings of pencils.