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Podocarpaceae facts for kids

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Podocarpus macrophyllus inumaki.JPG
Podocarpus macrophyllus foliage and mature seed cones
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae

Podocarpaceae is a large family of mainly Southern Hemisphere conifers. There are about 156 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. It has up to 19 genera. The distribution of this family suggests its early evolution took place in the ancient southern continent of Gondwana.

The family is a member of the Antarctic flora. Its main centres of diversity are in Australasia, particularly New Caledonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. They are also in Malesia and South America (mainly in the Andes mountains).

Several genera extend north of the equator into Indochina and the Philippines. Podocarpus goes as far north as southern Japan and southern China in Asia, and Mexico in the Americas, and Nageia into southern China and southern India. Two genera also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the widespread Podocarpus and the endemic Afrocarpus.

Parasitaxus usta is unique as the only known parasitic gymnosperm. It occurs on New Caledonia, where it is parasitic on another member of the Podocarpaceae, Falcatifolium taxoides.

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