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(pine), a family of coniferous gymnospermous plants, including evergreen or, less commonly, deciduous (Larix) trees and some shrubs. The leaves are linear-lanceolate, linear, needle-shaped, or scale-like; they are borne singly on the principal shoots or are in groups of two to five (Pinus) or more (Cedrus and Larix) at the ends of short lateral shoots. The microstrobiles, which are for the most part red or yellow, are arranged in groups or are solitary. The pollen has two or, less commonly, no air sacs (Larix, Tsuga). The woody cones, which range in length from 1.5 to 50 cm, mature in the first year (Larix) or, more commonly, in the second or third year. The cones decompose on the tree (Abies) or fall to the ground; the seed scales are thick, free, and spirally arranged in the axil of the bract, which may be unnoticeable (Pinus) or may be longer than the seed scale (Abies). The seeds often have a membranous wing.
The Pinaceae are wind-pollinated monoecious plants with unisexual cones. The roots have mycorrhizae. There are ten or 11 genera, with about 250 species, distributed mainly in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Taiga forests have a predominance of Pinaceae species. Valuable timber is furnished by the trees, especially by fir, spruce, pine, and larch species. The needles serve as raw material for the commercial production of vitamin C.
REFERENCETakhtadzhian, A. L. Vysshie rasteniia, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
T. G. LEONOVA