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Plants - Trees of the World
A closer look at the man stood next to this enormous tree.

Plants - Trees of the World

Trees are universal favourites. The Palm tree sways in the tropics, the mighty Pine tree towers boldly in winter. Their many associations have interests alike for the historian and the moralist, for the student of literature, or of folk-lore or those interested in botany.

Test your knowledge about trees of the world in this picture quiz. To enlarge the pictures, simply click on them.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Petr Pakandl
African Cypress
Field Maple
Blue Pine
  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Oleaceae
  • Genus: Olea
  • Species: O. europaea
  • A short and somewhat squat tree.
  • The trunk tends to be twisted and gnarled.
  • The tree and its fruit are mentioned over 30 times in the Bible.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Aronlevin
Giant redwood
Ginkgo biloba
Black Poplar
Balsam Fir
  • Order: Pinales
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Genus: Sequoiadendron
  • Species: S. giganteum
  • These tall trees grow to approximately 50-85 metres (160-279 ft) on average!
  • The oldest tree of this kind is 3,500 years.
  • Its wood was used for fence posts and matchsticks as it is brittle.
  • Can be seen at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of roger4366
Joshua tree
Ginkgo biloba
Drooping Juniper
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Moraceae
  • Genus: Ficus
  • Species: F. benghalensis
  • Native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • Also known as Bengal fig.
  • It is seen as sacred in India and temples are placed underneath it.
  • Has a large and deep shade - perfect for escaping the heat of the sun.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
Ginkgo biloba
Joshua tree
Jack Pine
  • Order: Ginkgoales
  • Family: Ginkgoaceae
  • Genus: Ginkgo
  • Species: G. biloba
  • A unique species of tree with no close living relatives.
  • Also known as the Maidenhair Tree.
  • Is effective in treating dementia.
  • The nuts are used in congee, a type of rice porridge eaten in Asian countries.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Callum O'Hagan
Honey Locust
White Mulberry
Giant redwood
Northern rata
  • Order: Myrtales
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Genus: Metrosideros
  • Species: M. robusta
  • A massive forest tree of New Zealand.
  • It grows on another tree, eventually killing the host tree.
  • This means that its trunk is always hollow.
  • Its biggest threat is the possum.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Ingrid Taylar
  • Order: Pinales
  • Family: Araucariaceae
  • Genus: Araucaria
  • Species: A. araucana
  • An evergreen that can grow to 40 metres (130 ft).
  • Sometimes referred to as a 'living fossil' because of the age of the species.
  • It is the national tree of Chile.
  • The seeds are edible, although the tree doesn't produce seeds until it is approximately 30 years old.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Olivier BEZES
Swamp Cypress
Lebanon cedar
Wych Elm
  • Order: Pinales
  • Family: Pinaceae
  • Genus: Cedrus
  • Species: C. liban
  • This species forms forests at high altitudes.
  • Ancient Egyptians used its resin in mummification.
  • Its sawdust has been found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs.
  • Isiah, the Hebrew prophet, used this tree as a metaphor for the pride of the world.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of © Jarek Tuszynski
Lebanon Cedar
Wych Elm
Joshua tree
Palm tree
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Genus: Yucca
  • Species: Y. brevifolia
  • Native to southwestern North America.
  • Mainly found in the Mojave Desert.
  • The trunk doesn't have growth rings making it hard to determine the age.
  • Has an extensive root system - some roots can be as far away as 11 m (36 ft).
What are miniature trees such as this known as?
Photograph courtesy of Jeffrey O. Gustafson
  • A Japanese art form involving miniature trees.
  • The tradition goes back over a thousand years.
  • In the 1800s, these trees were displayed at Meiji Palace for the Emperor.
  • This art form has spread worldwide.
  • In a traditional Japanese home, this tree is placed on the formal display alcove.
Can you identify this tree?
Photograph courtesy of Bernard Gagnon
Norway Spruce
White Mangrove
  • Order: Malvales
  • Family: Malvaceae
  • Subfamily: Bombacoideae
  • Genus: Adansonia
  • Also known as bottle tree, upside-down tree and monkey bread tree.
  • These trees store water inside their swollen trunks.
  • In 'The Lion King' Rafiki makes his home in this tree.
Author:  Sarah Garratty

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