Today we will discuss some interesting facts about several cone-bearing plants or trees. Many of you know that these types of plants are commonly called coniferous trees or plants. Keep reading for complete details with some bonus treasure questions.
Have you read my previous article 11 Plants with Fibrous Roots. If not please read and share that also.
Have you ever looked around and observed plants around you?
Some plants are small some are big, some are flowering plants whereas some are non-flowering plants. There are about 3,00,000 plant species living in the world today.
Have you ever wondered why Christmas trees are pointed?
Water and sunshine are essential for the growth of every plant. These factors also affect the crown shape and height of the plant.
Even the leaves of a plant are of different shape because it requires sunlight and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis in different proportion.
Nearer to the equator, when sunlight is overhead all around the year, trees have flat treetops or crowns, but up nearer to the arctic where the sun is never directly overhead trees tend to have a cone shape.
This is the reason Due to which Christmas trees are Cone Shaped.
Some call them pine trees, some may call them Evergreen, but the correct term is CONIFER.
List of 10 coniferous plants
Check out these plants that bear cones- Other than these there are several other cone-bearing plants available worldwide. We have selected these 10 Randomly, all of these have special meaning to their surroundings.
- Picea glauca
- Blue spruce
keep reading for details.
What are conifers?
Conifers are trees with a needle or scaly leaves that produce pinecones as a reproductive structure. It is the first and most basic classification for every cone-bearing plant.
The Word Conifer is derived from the Greek word “konos” which means cone and “phero” which means bearing.
They belong to a greater classification of trees called gymnosperms whose seeds are not enclosed inside a fruit.
Did you know most of the conifers are evergreen which means they don’t lose their leaves in winters?
Conifers produce pine cones and can vary greatly ranging from massive giants to small shrubs.
They can survive in the wet climate or in the high desert.
The needle-shaped leaves can be short or long.
The cones they produce also vary in size and shape.
Conifers are classified by their needle-type where some are flat small and short others may belong sharp and pointy.
Do you know how many species do they have?
There are almost over 500 conifer species. Although, they are mainly classified into spruces, fins, pines, and cedar.
Characteristics of a conifer
Most of the conifers are found in the northern hemisphere whereas some are even found in the southern hemisphere as they are adapted to survive in cold weather.
These plants do not bear fruit-bearing seeds but have cones to hold their seeds. It resembles the nut structure but only for covering the seeds.
Their leaves resemble the needles. The plants get their identity from these pointed needle-shaped leaves.
Do you know which is the smallest cone-bearing plant amongst these?
Continue reading to know about it and also find more about them in detail to know where they are found? In which type of climatic conditions and soil they grow best? And Can they be grown indoors?
10 cone-bearing plants
These are very tall trees with a massive trunk and irregular spreading branches. They have needle-like three-sided rigid leaves. Cedar is considered a large family of cone-bearing plants.
These trees are popularly found in regions of the western Himalayas and the Mediterranean.
They grow best in moist, organic, rich, well-drained soil.
They do not like dry, sandy soils and excessively moist clay soils.
Mostly all cedar prefer acidic soil, with some cedar, grow best in alkaline soil.
There are different kinds of cedars like
- Deodar or Deodar Cedar, Cedrus deodara which are found in Western Himalaya.
- Lebanon Cedar or Cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus libani. Are found in the mountains of the Mediterranean region.
- Cyprus Cedar, Cedrus brevifolia are found in the mountains of Cyprus.
- Atlas Cedar, Cedrus atlantica is found in Atlas mountains in Morocco & Algeria.
- Redwood :
Sequoioideae are popularly known as redwoods.
It belongs to the subfamily of coniferous trees within the family Cupressaceae. They are found in south-central China and California, USA.
Redwoods grow best in well-drained, sandy loam soil and cannot be grown inside. They require a large space to grow.
The name Cycas is derived from Greek kayaks and means “palm tree”. It has almost 95 known species out of which Sago Palm or King Sago Palm is best known.
They are relatively easy to grow and they require good drainage.
Cycas can be grown inside as well and serve as a great indoor potted ornamental plant.
They can be found in eastern and southeastern Asia, Philippines, eastern Africa (including Madagascar), northern Australia, Polynesia, and Micronesia.
- Picea glauca:
It is commonly known as white spruce.
Picea or white spruce is mostly found in the northern hemisphere and boreal forest in North America. originally, It was native to central Alaska.
It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate strong winds.
The wood of white spruce is used to make houses, mobile homes, furniture, boxes and crates, and pallets.
It also is used for house logs, musical instruments, and paddles.
It doesn’t do well as a house plant or indoor plant.
- Blue spruce:
It is a cone-bearing plant that grows from northern New Mexico through Colorado, Utah to Wyoming and into Alberta and British Columbia.
It is also commonly known as Colorado Spruce. Do you know why?
Because the blue spruce is the State Tree of Colorado
It has blue-green needle leaves due to which it gets its name as Blue Spruce.
Native Americans used this tree as a traditional medicinal plant.
The twigs of this plant are given as gifts to bring good fortune.
It belongs to the spruce family and best for outdoor plantation. It requires loose loaming or sandy soil to grow ideally.
Not ideal for Indoor plantation but can be grown as beautiful bonsai plants. In fact, blue spruce is one of my favorite bonsai cone-bearing plants.
- Gnetum africanum :
It is a vine gymnosperm species found throughout tropical Africa.
It is considered as a wild vegetable and can grow approx. 10 meters long and at maturity, it produces small cone-like reproductive structures. It grows best in shaded areas.
They are large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 ft).
Male ginkgo plants produce small pollen cones with sporophylls whereas female ginkgo plants do not produce cones.
It requires well-draining soil to survive. They grow best in sandy soil but can survive in loam or light, clayey soil also.
Many Gingko can be grown easily in a pot with correct feeding and watering.
It is also known as the maidenhair tree.
Do you why?
It was named the maidenhair tree in England because the leaves look similar to the native maidenhair fern.
It is an evergreen coniferous tree with long needle-shaped leaves. Pine is one of the best-known cone-bearing plants in the world.
It is grown for its soft timber which is used for furniture and pulp, or for tar and turpentine.
The name “pine” is derived from the Latin word “pinus”, Yes you are guessing the right meaning.
They are found in Northern Hemisphere, and in a few parts of the tropics in the Southern Hemisphere.
Most of the Pine trees require well-drained sandy soil to grow ideally.
They are sun-loving plants and do not grow well in shady conditions. There are about 115 species of pine worldwide. True pine tree does not grow well indoors, but you can have one as bonsai.
Pygmy pine is one of the smallest conifers in the world
They are evergreen coniferous trees in the family Pinaceae with more than 40 species.
They are found in North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring mostly in the mountain range.
Its leaves are significantly flattened and its wood is not suitable for general timber use. Therefore it is used as pulp for paper industry or for manufacturing of plywood.
They are coniferous trees of the cypress family. Juniper has more than 50 species found worldwide.
They are widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa, from Ziarat, Pakistan, east to eastern Tibet in the Old World, and in the mountains of Central America.
Juniper grows well in open, sunny and well-drained soil and is very tolerant to dry and clayey soil.
They are not house plants and thus require some extra attention when grown inside.
Leaves of conifers are often needle-shaped due to which they are tough, don’t dry out easily and can survive in cold, windy, and dry climates.