Phylum Pinophyta - Conifers

An Overview of the 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 630 extant species.  

Classification of the Conifers

Conifers are by far the most abundant gymnosperms.  The diagram below shows the relationship of the other gymnosperms in addition to the relationship of the extant families of confiers. 

Conifer Life Cycle

  1. Males release pollen in the wind that is recieved by the female cone. (Both male and female cones can be on the same plant).
  2. Pollen that finds its way tot he female cone will then fertilize a female gamete
  3. Once fertilization happens, the zygote as it is now called develops into an embryo.
  4. A seed then developes that contains the embryo.
  5. The mature seeds will drop off the cone to the ground.
  6. When conditions allow, the seed germinates and grows into a mature plant.
  7. After the plant is mature, the cycle starts again when the adult plant produces male and/or female cones.

More information

Species listed under Pinophyta