Conifers – needle-like or scaly leaves:

     “Conifer” is the common name for any tree classified within the phylum Pinophyta – also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae.  Conifers are a type of gymnosperm (cone-bearing seed plant).  The vast majority are trees, though some are shrubs. [1]


Which of the four descriptions (or photos) below best describe the leaf structure?

Click the green words or photo to continue your search.

#1.)  Cylindrical needles growing in   clusters – Pine {Pinus sp.} or {Larix sp.}

#2.)  Flattened needles – Fir, Hemlock, or Yew

#3.)  Scaled leaves – Cypress {Cupressaceae} – (Cedar, Juniper, or Redwood)

#4.)  Triangular OR Square-Shaped Needles growing individually from the woody branches –  Spruce  {Picea sp.} 


Identify A Hardwood (Broad-Leafed) Tree

Identify Another Type of Organism

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[1]: Campbell, Reece, “Phylum Coniferophyta”. Biology. 7th. 2005. Print. P. 595

Images of Coniferous leaves saved to Pinterest (author uncited).

Photo #1 (pine needles):

Photo #2 (flat needles):Northwest Conifer Connectictions, “Focus on Pacific Yew” by . July 30, 2015:

Photo #3 (cypress leaves): Oregon State University, “Cupressocyparis leylandii”

Photo #4 (spruce needles): Fine Gardening issue 107, “Fir vs. Spruce vs. Pine: How to tell them apart” by Steve Aitken:

Database Entry: Distance Everheart 9-30-13, 12-21-13, 9-7-2017


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