The Coniferophyta Division is made up of mostly evergreen trees and shrubs. These plants tend to be tough and can survive in stressful environments, including drought, high winds, heat, and cold. Some Conifers are the oldest plants on earth, growing to over 5,000 years old. Conifers have either needles or scale-like leaves. They bear cones instead of fruits, and their seeds do not have a shell-like outer coating like flowering plants. Plants from the Coniferophyta Division include pines, cedars, hemlocks, cypress, juniper, larches, firs, spruces, and yews. The Coniferophyta Divsion contains only one Class: Pinopsida. Pinopsida Class: Pinopsida is the only class in the Coniferophyta Division, so the description above applies to the Class as well as the Divsion. The Pinopsida Class is split into two Orders, the Pinales Order and the Taxales Order. Pinales Order: This Order contains the majority of plants in the Pinopsida Class; including pines, cedars, hemlocks, cypress, juniper, larches, firs, and spruces. Taxales Order: Includes yews.
All of the Orders above have been split into smaller groups, called Families. Families are then split into Genera. Remember, as each group gets smaller, organisms in that group are more and more alike. Each Genus will contain individual Species. Information on specific Families and Genera is not included on this website, but you can find out which groups a species belongs to by checking the Classification Box at the bottom of each Species Page. See the example of an Virginia Pine below: Coniferophyta
This is a conspicuous group of woody plants commonly known as the "conifers". The members of this group produce ovules that mature into seeds. These ovules and seeds are found on the upper surfaces of scale structures which often are clustered into "cones". The Coniferophytes are considered "gymnosperms" (as are the Ginkgophytes) due to the fact that the seeds are exposed in the cone scales rather than being...
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