In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year, always green. This 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.
Evergreen plants include:
- most species of conifers (e.g., pine, hemlock, blue spruce, red cedar, and white/scots/jack pine), 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.
Evergreen trees do lose leaves, but each tree loses its leaves gradually and not all at once. Most tropical rainforest plants are considered to be evergreens, replacing their leaves gradually throughout the year as the leaves age and fall. In contrast, species growing in seasonally arid climates may be either evergreen or deciduous. Most warm temperate climate plants are also evergreen. In cool temperate climates, fewer plants are evergreen, with a predominance of conifers, as few evergreen broadleaf plants can tolerate severe cold below about −22 °F (−30 °C).