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Pinophyta

Introduction

Pinophyta (pĪˌnŏfˈətə) [key], division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem). In these plants the ovules, or young seeds, are exposed to the air at the time of pollination, hence the term gymnosperm, meaning naked seed. Pollination is always by wind. Because the seed-bearing structures of many gymnosperms are organized into a cone, or strobilus, these plants have been called conifers; because the leaves of many species are perennial, they have also been called evergreens.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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