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Any plant that retains its leaves through the winter and into the following summer or through several years. Many tropical species of broad-leaved flowering plants are evergreen, but in cold-temperate and Arctic areas the evergreens commonly are cone-bearing shrubs or trees (conifers), such as pines and firs. The leaves of evergreens usually are thicker and more leathery than those of deciduous trees and often are needlelike or scalelike in cone-bearing trees. A leaf (or needle) may remain on an evergreen tree for two years or longer and may fall during any season.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on evergreen, visit Britannica.com.