conifer

conifer kŏn´ĭfûr [key] [Lat.,=cone-bearing], tree or shrub of the order Coniferales, e.g., the pine , monkey-puzzle tree , cypress , and sequoia . Most conifers bear cones and most are evergreens, though a few, such as the larch , are deciduous. Conifers are widely distributed over the world but are mostly found in the highlands of temperate regions. The conifers, the ginkgoes , and the cycads comprise the three most important groups of gymnosperms, i.e., plants without true flowers. Conifers are classified in the division Pinophyta , class Pinopsida.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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