cone-bearing tree or other plant that has its seeds in a structure called a cone.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
conifer (noun)
any of an order (Coniferales) of mostly evergreen trees and shrubs having usually needle-shaped or scalelike leaves and including forms (as pines) with true cones and others (as yews) with an arillate fruit
conifer (Wikipedia)

Temporal range: CarboniferousPresent
Snowfield Peak 8648s.JPG
Conifer forests, though comprising few species, cover vast areas, as in this forest in the Cascade Range of western North America.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Spermatophytes
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Orders and families
  • Coniferophyta
  • Coniferae

The Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae, or commonly as conifers, are a division of vascular land plants containing a single extant 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. Examples include cedars, Douglas firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews. As of 1998, the division Pinophyta was estimated to contain eight families, 68 genera, and 629 living species.[citation needed]

Although the total number of species is relatively small, conifers are ecologically important. They are the dominant plants over large areas of land, most notably the taiga of the Northern Hemisphere, but also in similar cool climates in mountains further south. Boreal conifers have many wintertime adaptations. The narrow conical shape of northern conifers, and their downward-drooping limbs, help them shed snow. Many of them seasonally alter their biochemistry to make them more resistant to freezing. While tropical rainforests have more biodiversity and turnover, the immense conifer forests of the world represent the largest terrestrial carbon sink. Conifers are of great economic value for softwood lumber and paper production.

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