All conifers, from pine trees to leylandii to yew trees, are within the Division Pinophyta aka Coniferophyta. The number of species in this division is quite small, approximately although some estimates are higher , compared to 12, in the Bryophyta Division mosses or several hundred thousand in the Magnoliophyta Division flowering plants. All conifers are woody, either shrubs or trees, and they are largely well adapted to cold conditions and acid soils. Most are evergreen; exceptions include the larch Larix , two species of Cypress Taxodium distichum, Taxodium ascendens and the Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Leaves are usually needle-like or scale-like, but there are a few with more strap shaped leaves.

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The subdivision Pinicae also known as Coniferophyta of the division Pinophyta gymnosperms includes about living species, as well as a number of extinct forms. Two classes are recognized, the Ginkgoopsida and Pinopsida. The latter group consists of only a single order, Ginkgoales, and the unique characteristics of the ginkgos cause them to be classified by some authors as an independent division Ginkgophyta.

The Pinopsida contains two orders: Pinales conifers that bear seeds enclosed in cones, and Taxales taxads containing yews and related trees that do not produce female cones. The Pinopsida contains a variety of shrubs and trees, divided into seven families: Voltziaceae an extinct group , Araucariaceae Monkee Puzzle family , Cephalotaxaceae Plum-yew family , Cupressaceae cypress family , Pinaceae pine family , Podocarpaceae podocarpus family , and Taxodiaceae deciduous cypress family.

Other coniferlike plants are known by fossils, though the taxonomy of these Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. Beaches and Coastal Geology Edition. Contents Search. How to cite. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Bowers, N. Cone-Bearing Trees of the Pacific Coast. Palo Alto, Calif. Google Scholar. Campbell, H. The Evolution of Land Plants. Stanford, Calif. Dallimore, W. A Handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae, revised by S.

New York: St. Martin's Press, p. Emberger, L. Paris: Maison et Cie, p. Hu-Lin, Li, Present distribution and habitats of conifers and taxads, Evolution, 7, — CrossRef Google Scholar. Peterson, R. The Pine Tree Book.

New York: Brandywine Press, p. Stokes, M. An Introduction to Tree-Ring Dating. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 68p. Strasburger, E. Strasburger's Textbook of Botany, rewritten by D. Schumacher, L. Magdefrau, and F. New York: Longman, p. Wiggins, I. Conifer, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol.

Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica Press, 1—9.



The Pinophyta , also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae , or commonly as conifers, are a division of vascular land plants containing a single class, Pinopsida. They are gymnosperms, cone-bearing seed plants. All extant conifers are perennial woody plants with secondary growth. The great majority are trees, though a few are shrubs.


Plant Divisions: Conifers

The division Pinophyta sometimes refered to in older texts as the Coniferophyta or the Coniferae are gymnosperms that are commonly called conifers. All conifers are woody plants that have cones, and have vascular tissue. There are eight families in this division and extant species. Conifers are by far the most abundant gymnosperms.


Phylum Pinophyta - Conifers

Coniferophyta Pinophyta The biggest division of gymnosperms , with a long fossil history, comprising trees and shrubs, nearly all of which are evergreen, commonly with monopodial crowns. Most are resinous. Conifers are extremely important for timber and paper production. The leaves are often needle- or scale-like. Fertile parts occur in unisexual cones, variously containing sterile scales. Stamens are borne on commonly peltate scales.

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