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Tsuga chinensis var. Formosana

Tsuga chinensis var. Formosana

Subdivision : Seed plants (Spermatophytina)
Class : Coniferopsida
Order : Conifers (Coniferales)
Family : Pine family (Pinaceae)
Subfamily : Abietoideae
Genre : Hemlocks
Scientific name
( Final ) Carrière

The hemlock or hemlock ( Tsuga ) constitute a genus within the family of the Pinaceae (Pinaceae).

Origin of the common names

Hemlock is the translation from the English hemlock . This name comes from the smell of the grated needles of the West American hemlock , which is very similar to the smell of the ground elder , a relatively close relative of the hemlock.


Illustration of the southern Japanese hemlock ( Tsuga Sieboldii )
Bark of Canadian hemlock ( Tsuga canadensis )
Illustration of the Canadian hemlock ( Tsuga canadensis )

Vegetative characteristics

The hemlocks are evergreen trees . The oldest are probably Tsuga mertensiana , of which it is said that there are 1,400-year-old specimens, 800-year-old specimens can be detected in British Columbia . The tallest tree in the genus is a specimen of Tsuga heterophylla with a stature height of 55 meters, a trunk diameter (dbh) of 259 centimeters and a crown diameter of 20 meters at Quisitis Point in the Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia (report by Stoltmann 1987).

The bark is gray to brown, scaly and often deeply furrowed.

The treetop is conical to irregularly ovoid (in some Asian species). The tops of the trees and the otherwise horizontal branches often overhang.

The needles, arranged more or less in two lines or around the branch, last for a few years, are flat to slightly angular, with a base that is stem-like and a piercing to rounded end. The stomata are in two rows on the underside of the needle; only in Tsuga mertensiana are there stomata on the upper side. Each needle has a resin channel. The buds are not resinous. The seedling has (four to six cotyledons cotyledons ).

Generative characteristics

Tsuga species are single sexed ( monoecious ). The male cones, which are spherical and brown with a diameter of less than 8 millimeters, stand alone on annual twigs. The female cones are on annual branches; they take five to seven months to ripen and soon after the seeds are released they either fall off or remain on the tree for a few years. The cone falls off as a whole. The female cones, hanging from very short stems at most, are ovate to oblong, only oblong-cylindrical in Tsuga mertensiana . The cone scales are thin, leathery and variable in shape; they are mostly smooth and hairy only in Tsuga mertensiana . The deck scales are small.

The seeds are 3 to 5 millimeters long and 2 to 3 millimeters in diameter. You have many small resin containers. Their thin wings are 5 to 10 millimeters long.

In all Tsuga species, the basic chromosome number is x = 12 with a chromosome number of 2n = 24.

Habitat in Emigrant Wilderness , California by Tsuga mertensiana


The areas Tsuga TYPES lie in the temperate regions of North America and East Asia . Tsuga natural sites are always in relatively humid climates with little drought stress . In their habitats they are mostly the dominant plant species.

The genus Tsuga was also native to Europe in the Tertiary , but died out during the Ice Ages .


It was first published in 1847 as the Pinus sect section . Tsuga Endl. by Stephan Ladislaus Endlicher Synopsis Coniferarum , page 83 with the type species Abies tsuga Siebold & Zucc. . It gained the status of a genus Tsuga (Endl.) Carrière in 1855 by Élie Abel Carrière in Traité Général des Conifères ou description de toutes les espèces et variétés aujourd'hui connues, avec leur synonymie, l'indication des procédés de culture et de multiplication qu 'il convient de leur appliquer , page 185 received. The type species is Tsuga Sieboldii Carrière . The scientific name Tsuga is the Japanese name ( Japanese ) of the southern Japanese hemlock .

The genus of hemlocks ( Tsuga ) is divided into two sub-genera with a total of about ten species:

  • Subgenus Tsuga : There are nine species:
  • Subgenus Hesperopeuce ( Engelmann) AEMurray : There is only one species:
    • Mountain hemlock ( Tsuga mertensiana (Bongard) Carriere , Tsuga pattoniana (Balfour) Sénéclause ): It comes in western North America from southern Alaska through the Canadian British Columbia to the US states, northern Idaho, northwestern Montana , Oregon, Washington, Nevada , and northern to central California. There are two subspecies:
      • Tsuga mertensiana subsp. grandicona Farjon
      • Tsuga mertensiana (Bongard) Carrière subsp. mertensiana
Hemlock wood


Few species are cultivated for forestry in Europe. Some species are used as ornamental plants in parks and gardens , sometimes as cultivated forms .

Due to its insensitivity to moisture, hemlock wood is used as an arrow shaft material in traditional archery . The resistance to moisture in combination with the lack of resin in the wood makes hemlock a high-quality material for sauna construction.



Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Ronald J. Taylor: Tsuga (Endlicher) Carrière - the same text online as the printed work , In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 2: Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, 1993, ISBN 0-19-508242-7 .
  2. ^ Tsuga at Tropicos.org. In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  3. ^ Tsuga at Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  4. Peter Loewer: Jefferson's Garden . Stackpole Books, 2004, ISBN 0-8117-0076-3 , pp. 233 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k Christopher J. Earle: Information on the genus at The Gymnosperm Database , 2019.
  6. ^ A b Liguo Fu, Nan Li, Thomas S. Elias, Robert R. Mill: Pinaceae. : Tsuga (Endlicher) Carrière , p. 39 - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven (Ed.): Flora of China. Volume 4: Cycadaceae through Fagaceae. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing and St. Louis, 1999, ISBN 0-915279-70-3 .
  7. Tsuga in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  8. Garth Holman, Peter Del Tredici, Nathan Havill, Nam Sook Lee, Richard Cronn, Kevin Cushman, Sarah Mathews, Linda Raubeson, Christopher S. Campbell: A New Species and Introgression in Eastern Asian Hemlocks (Pinaceae: Tsuga). In: Systematic Botany , Volume 42, Issue 4, 2017, pp. 1–15. DOI: 10.1600 / 036364417X696474
  9. sauna-portal.com/sauna-selbstbau/sauna-holz . Retrieved December 19, 2012.

Web links

Commons : Hemlocks ( Tsuga )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

further reading

  • BA LePage: A new species of Tsuga (Pinaceae) from the middle Eocene of Axel Heiberg Island, Canada, and an assessment of the evolution and biogeographical history of the genus. In: Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society , Volume 141, 2003, pp. 257-296.