EVERGREEN, a general term applied to plants which are always in leaf, as contrasted with deciduous trees which are bare for some part of the year (see Horticulture). In temperate or colder zones where a season favourable to vegetation is succeeded by an unfavourable or winter season, leaves of evergreens must be protected from the frost and cold drying winds, and are therefore tougher or more leathery in texture than those of deciduous trees, and frequently, as in pines, firs and other conifers, are needle-like, thus exposing a much smaller surface to the drying action of cold winds. The number of seasons for which the leaves last varies in different plants; every season some of the older leaves fall, while new ones are regularly produced. The common English bramble is practically evergreen, the leaves lasting through winter and until the new leaves are developed next spring. In privet also the leaves fall after the production of new ones in the next year. In other cases the leaves last several years, as in conifers, and may sometimes be found on eleven-year-old shoots.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)