instructions for the Cupressaceae key

For using the identification key, some things are necessary to know. This information is essential for a successful identification. The instructions are according to character subsets.

1. The identification key mostly works only with specimens from plants with adult leaves. Most of the taxa reach this adult stage after 3-4 years. For plants, which reach the adult stage only after decades, it is possible to use the characters of juvenile leaves.
2. Please, do not use the extreme extend, better is to use rather typical measurements. No identification key can use extend e.g. of aborted cones or untypically large cones.
3. When ever possible use several specimens and measure maximum values for "normal" specimens.
4. For the measurement and the investigation of tiny character details use the lens or the binocular with the recommended magnification.

male cones:
5. Data are still incomplete for some groups, the variability is rather high. Use male cones better only if no other characters help.
6. Please, measure only mature male cones just before, during and after pollination.

female cones:
7. Please, measure mature female cones after seed ripening. It is possible to measure female cones just before, during and after seed release.
8. Female cone scales, may be counted with or without small aborted scales.
9. If you count female cone scales of fleshy cones, it is also possible to count the number of umbos instead (sometimes it is much easier).
10. Please use mature female cones for both the measurement and the colour. The information about number and arrangement of female cones you can get also from immature cones.

11. "Width of the seed" means the width of the seed plus the seed wings.
12. If you count the number of seeds, you can count the number of seed scars if they are conspicuous.

vegetative characters:
13. If you measure the scale leaves, please use the upper side of the branchlet.
14. For investigation of vegetative specimens always use ultimate branchlets, exceptions are mentioned.
15. Please don't use the two last leaf whorls on the tip of the ultimate branchlets for the identification because some typical characters are not distinct.
16. Please investigate the toothing of scale leaves with a strong lens (at least 20x).
17. Attention if you use the character state "scale leaves keeled or rounded" because it is sometimes not simple to recognise.