Mapes, Gene K. Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Rothwell, Gar W. Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Last reviewed:April 2021
Show previous versions
- History and distribution
- Biological adaptations
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any living or fossil member of the plant division Pinophyta, consisting chiefly of woody trees or shrubs that produce cones and evergreen needles. Conifers are predominantly cone-bearing, evergreen trees and shrubs belonging to the order Pinales, as well as a small number of extinct orders, in the class Pinopsida of the plant division Pinophyta (Coniferophyta). All conifers are woody plants, and they are often the predominant trees of forests worldwide (Fig. 1), including pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, cedar, larch, juniper, cypress, yew, and redwood species. Because the ovules (young seeds) of conifers are exposed directly to the air at the time of pollination (that is, conifers produce seeds that are not enclosed in a fruit or ovary), these plants are classified as gymnosperms. (In contrast, the flowering plants, or angiosperms, have ovules enclosed in an ovary.) Today, conifers constitute the principal source of lumber and pulp for paper and wood products. See also: Cedar; Cypress; Fir; Forest; Forest timber resources; Forestry; Hemlock; Juniper; Larch; Lumber; Pinales; Pine; Pinophyta; Pinopsida; Redwood; Seed; Spruce; Tree; Wood products; Yew
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information