In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year that are always green. This is true even if the plant retains its foliage only in warm climates, and contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.
There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs. Evergreens include:
- most species of conifers (e.g., pine, hemlock, blue spruce, and red cedar), but not all (e.g., larch)
- live oak, holly, and “ancient” gymnosperms such as cycads
- most angiosperms from frost-free climates, such as eucalypts and rainforest trees
- clubmosses and relatives
The Latin binomial term sempervirens, meaning “always green”, refers to the evergreen nature of the plant, for instance
- Cupressus sempervirens (a cypress)
- Lonicera sempervirens (a honeysuckle)
- Sequoia sempervirens (a sequoia)
Leaf longevity in evergreen plants varies from a few months to several decades (over thirty years in the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine).