Cone-bearing tree. Tree or shrub of the order Coniferales, in the gymnosperm or naked-seed-bearing group of plants. They are often pyramidal in form, with leaves that are either scaled or made up of needles; most are evergreen. Conifers include pines, spruces, firs, yews, junipers, monkey puzzles, and larches.
The reproductive organs are the male and female cones, and pollen is distributed by the wind. The seeds develop in the female cones. The processes of maturation, fertilization, and seed ripening may extend over several years. Most conifers grow quickly and can tolerate poor soil, steep slopes, and short growing seasons. Coniferous forests are widespread in Scandinavia and upland areas of the UK such as the Scottish Highlands, and are often planted in forestation schemes. Conifers also grow in woodland.
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