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pine family

noun
1.
the plant family Pinaceae, characterized by mostly evergreen, resinous trees having narrow, often needlelike leaves, male flowers in catkinlike clusters, and scaly female flowers that develop into fruit in the form of a woody cone, and including cedar (genus Cedrus), fir, hemlock, larch, pine, and spruce.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for pine-family

pine family

the pine family of conifers, 11 genera and 210 species of trees (rarely shrubs) native to north temperate regions. Fir (Abies), Keteleeria, Cathaya, Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga), hemlock (Tsuga, with Nothotsuga sometimes segregated), spruce (Picea), golden larch (Pseudolarix), larch, or tamarack (Larix), cedar (Cedrus), and pine (Pinus) contain many species that are sources of timber, paper pulp, oils, and resins. Some are cultivated as ornamentals. Both male and female reproductive structures are borne on the same plant. The needlelike leaves are solitary, in bundles, or on specialized short branches. The pollen-bearing male cones are solitary or clustered and have many spirally arranged scales, each bearing two pollen sacs. The compound, seed-bearing (ovule-bearing) cones also have many spirally arranged scales. Each scale is free from the bract below it and bears two inverted ovules on its upper side. In members of the genus Pinus, the bract tends to become fused to the scale and thus disappears as the cones mature.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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