Conifer cone

Let’s know about conifer cone. A cone (in formal botanical use: strobilus , plural strobili ) is an organ on the plant, angular in the division of plants ( conifers ) containing reproductive structures. The familiar wooden cone is the female cone , which produces seeds . The male cone , which produces pollen , is usually grassy and much less conspicuous even at full maturity. The name “cone” is derived from the Greek konos ( pinecone ), which also gave the name to the geometric cone ., The individual plates of a cone are known as scales .

Conifer cone

The male cone ( Microstrobilus or pollen cone ) is structurally similar in all conifers, differing only in small ways (mostly in scale arrangements) from species to species. There are microsporophylls (modified leaves) projecting out from a central axis . Beneath each microsporophyll are one or several microsporangia ( pollen sacs).

Female cones ( megastrobilus , seed cones , or oval cones ) have ovules , which become seeds when fertilized by pollen. Female cone structure varies more markedly between different conifer families, and is often important for the identification of many species of conifers.

Female cones of coniferous families

Conifer cone

Pinaceous cone

Members of the pine family ( pines , spruce , fir , fir , larches , etc.) have cones that are imbricate (that is, with scales overlapping each other like fish scales). These pine cones, especially the woody female cones, are considered “archetypal” tree cones. (Conifer cone)

The female conical scale has two types of sarcophagus: a seed scales (or ovuliferous scales) scales, and, subtended from each sarcophagus scale, a highly modified branchlet derived from, On the upper edge of each seed scale are two ovules which develop into seeds after fertilization by pollen grains. bract scales develop first, and are conspicuous at the time of pollination; The seed scales later develop to enclose and protect the seeds, with the bract scales often not protruding. The scales open temporarily to receive gametophytes, then close during fertilization and maturation, and then reopen at maturity so that seeds can escape.

Pollination takes 6–8 months in most Pinaceae species, but 12 months in cedars and 18–24 months (rarely longer) in most pines. The cones either open from the seed scales when they dry up, or (in fir, cedar and golden larch ) are disintegrated by the cones with the fall of the seed scales. Cone Cone, Cylindricalor oval (egg-shaped), and small to very large, 2–60 cm long and 1–20 cm wide.

After ripening, the openings of non- serotinous pine cones are linked to their moisture content – ​​the cones open when dry and close when wet. [1] This assures that small, wind-borne seeds will be dispersed during the relatively dry season, and thus, the distance covered from the parent tree will be increased. A pine cone will go through several cycles of opening and closing during its lifetime, even after seed dispersal is complete. [2] This process occurs with older cones while attached to branches and even after older cones have fallen to the forest floor . The status of fallen pine cones is a crude indicator of the moisture content of the forest floor, which is a major factor in the risk of forest fires .An important indicator of risk. Closed cones indicate moist conditions while open cones indicate dryness of the forest floor.

As a result, pine cones are often used by people in temperate climates to predict dry and wet weather, usually by hanging a pine cone cut from a string to measure air humidity.

araucariaceae cones

Members of the Araucariaceae ( Araucaria , Agathis, Wollemia ) chloroplasts and seed scales are completely fused, and each scale has only one ovule. The cones are spherical or nearly equal, and large to very large, 5–30 cm in diameter, and mature in 18 months; At maturity, they disperse to release seeds. In Agathis , the seeds are winged and separate easily from the seed scale, but in the other two genera, the seed is wingless and fused to the scale.

podocarpaceae cones

The cones of the Podocarpaceae are similar in function, though not in development, to the Taxaceae (qv below), with berry-like highly modified scales, evolved to attract birds to protruding. In most species, two to ten or more scales are usually fused together into a swollen, brightly colored, soft, edible fleshy aril. Usually only one or two scales are fertile at the top of the cone, each containing a wingless seed, but in Saxagothea several scales may be fertile. The fleshy scale complex is 0.5–3 cm long and the seeds 4–10 mm long. In some species (for example, Prumenoptes), the scales are small and not fleshy, but the seed coat develops a fleshy layer instead, with one to three small plumes appearing on a central stem in the cone. The seeds develop a hard coat to resist digestion in the stomach of birds.

cuprous cone

Conifer cone

Members of the cypress family (cypresses, arborvitae, junipers, redwoods, etc.) differ in that the bracts and seed scales are completely fused, with the bracts showing no more than a small lump or spine on the scales. The botanical term galbulus (plural galbuli from Latin for a cypress cone) is used instead of strobilus for members of this family. The female cone has one to 20 ovules on each scale. They often have peltate scales, unlike the imbricate cones described above, although some have imbricate scales. Cones are usually small, 0.3-6 cm or 1/8 – 2+3/8 inch long , and often spherical or nearly so, like the Nootka cypress, while others such as the western redcedar and California sun-cedar, are narrow. The scales are arranged either spirally, or in dicot whorls of two (opposite pairs) or three, rarely four. The genera with spiral scale arrangements were often considered in the past to be in a separate family (Taxodiaceae). In most of the genera, the cones are woody and the seeds have two narrow anthers (one along each side of the seed), but in three genera ( Platycladus, Microbiota and Juniperus ), the seeds are wingless, and in Juniperus , the cones are fleshy and berry-like. are (called [galbuli [1] ]]).

  • Round cone of Nootka cypress ( Chamaecyparis nootkatensis )
  • Long slender cones and winged seeds of the California incense-cedar ( Calocedrus decurrans ) from the Musée de Toulouse
  • Cones and wingless seeds of the Chinese arborvitae ( Platycladus orientalis ) from the Museum de Toulouse
  • Berry-like cones of the common juniper ( Juniperus communis )

pseudopitac cone

The cones and seeds of Sciadopitys (the only member of the family) are similar to those of some Cupressaceae , but larger, 6–11 cm long; The scales are impermeable and spirally arranged, and each scale has 5–9 ovules. (Conifer cone)

Taxi and Cephalotaxi cone cone

Members of the yew family and closely related Cephalotaxaceae have the most highly modified cones of any conifer. The female cone has only one scale, which contains a poisonous ovule. The scale develops into a soft, brightly colored sweet, juicy, berry-like grain that partially encloses the deadly seed. Only the seed is poisonous. The ‘berry’ complete with the seed is eaten by birds, which digest the sugar-containing scale and release the hard seed into their droppings, therefore dispersing the seed away from the parent plant.

cycadaceae cones

Although not included under conifers, this group of coniferous plants retains some sort of ‘primitive’ characteristics. Its leaves are fluttering, much like a fern. There are three extant families of cycads with about 305 species. It breeds with larger cones, and is related to other conifers in that respect, but does not have a woody trunk like most cone-bearing families.

Welwitschiasy cones

Like cycads, this unique cone-bearing plant is not considered a conifer, but belongs to the order Velvitschiales. Welwitschia mirabilis is often called a living fossil and is the only species in its genus, the only genus in its genus, the only family in its order. Male cones are on male plants, and female cones on female plants. After two cotyledons emerge, it sets only two more leaves. Then those two leaves grow longer than their base like nails. This allows it great drought tolerance, which is why it has survived in the deserts of Namibia, while all other representatives of its order are now extinct. (Conifer cone)

location and distribution

For most species found in Australia, the male and female cones are on the same plant (tree or shrub), with the female usually on higher branches towards the top of the plant. This distribution is thought to improve the likelihood of cross-fertilization, as pollen is not likely to fly vertically upwards within a plant crown, but may flow slowly upwards in the wind, Can fly from low on one plant to high on another plant. In some conifers, male cones are often clustered together in large numbers, while female cones are more often produced singly or only in small groups.

Another characteristic arrangement of pine is that the male cones are located at the base of the branch, while the female cones are located at the end (of the same or a different branch). However, in larch and cedar, both types of cones are always at the tips of short shoots, whereas both types of pine cones always have lateral buds, never terminal. There is also some diversity in bearing in the Cupresaceae. Some, for example, Cupressus have little or no difference in the position of the male and female cones.

cone crops

Cone crop potential can be estimated in various ways. An early indication of a potential harvest may be periods of unusually hot, dry weather at the time of bud differentiation, especially if the current and previous cone harvests have been poor (Nienstadt and Zasada 1990). [3] Cone harvest potential can be estimated by counting female reproductive buds in the fall or winter, and an experienced observer can detect subtle morphological differences and differentiate between reproductive buds and vegetative buds (EIS 1967b). could.(Conifer cone)

White spruce seed collection is expensive, and collection from red squirrel’s cone caches is probably the cheapest method. The viability of the seed from the cached cone does not vary during current caching, but becomes essentially zero after being in the cache for 1 or 2 years (Wag 1964).

The collection of cones in seed orchards is facilitated by the counter-intuitive technique of “topping” and the collection of cones from cut crowns by one-third the cost of collection from uncut trees and without reducing cone production (Slayton 1969) , Nienstedt 1981) has been provided. )


Norway and Sitka spruce are prone to the formation of pineapple gall pseudocones caused by the woolly aphid, Adelges abietis . These are not cones, although they closely resemble them.

While alder trees are not conifers, their mature seed-bearing structures resemble cones.

cultural use

Due to their widespread occurrence, conifers have been a traditional part of the arts and crafts of cultures where conifers are common. Examples of their use include seasonal wreaths and decorations, fire starters, bird feeders, toys, and more. [8] An intriguing derivation of the impossible bottle mechanical puzzle takes advantage of the fact that pine cones open and close depending on their level of dryness. In the manufacture of pine cones in bottle displays , a closed, moist cone of suitable size is inserted into a bottle with a narrow mouth and allowed to open when dry. [9]

Cone cows are traditional homemade toys, made by children using materials found in nature. The most common design is a spruce or pine cone with sticks or matches for legs, which can be easily attached by forcing them between the scales of the cone. Playing with cone cows often involves building animal enclosures out of sticks. For the most part, cone cows have been displaced by manufactured toys, at least in affluent countries, but the making of cone cows still enjoys some popularity as an outdoor activity for children.

Cone cows are a part of children’s culture in Finland, where they are known as kapilehma (plural: kapilehmat ) and in Sweden, where they are known as kottakor or kottajur (cone animal). Schools and other institutions teach children to make cone cows as part of outdoor education on nature and history.

Finland has a fairground with conifer cow statues, large enough for children to ride on. In Sweden, a video game was released in which the player can build virtual cone cows. [10] Swedish artist Lasse Eberg created artwork with conure cows, which have been included in an alphabet book [11] and are featured on a Swedish postage stamp, among other classic toys. The cone is also sometimes used as a charge in heraldic coats of arms.

In parts of Russia and Georgia, immature pine cones are harvested in late spring and steamed to make sweet preserves. [14]


Pine cones are symbolic for the pineal gland citation needed ] (which is named after the pine cone). Pine cones were also used in ancient Assyrian art as a symbol of fertility. In Christian symbolism, they are closely related to the tree of life.