Conifers are a group of woody, cone bearing trees and shrubs which form an important component of global forests, particularly in colder climates where they often dominate huge swaths of land. The first conifers appeared many millions of years before flowering plants, during the Carboniferous era almost 300 million years ago. Most conifer species are evergreen, with a few notable exceptions, and have characteristic long, flattened leaves, which are commonly referred to as needles. The lightweight but durable timber of conifers is an important building material throughout the world.
The MEMBG Conifer Garden is located in the southern portion of the Garden along our ADA south switchback path. The section includes a grove of Deodar cedars (Cedrus deodara), a tree species from the Himalayas. Another highlight of the conifer garden is our Bunya bunya (Araucaria bidwillii), an Australian conifer with drooping branches and massive cones. New plantings in this area are focusing on rare and unusual conifers such as a recently planted Vietnamese golden cypress (Xanthocyparis vietnamensis), a small tree which was only recently discovered in the mountains of northern Vietnam.