Common Pine Tree Features

Pine cone and leaf parts. (A) Inner view of ovulate scale with seed. (B) Outer view of ovulate scale. (C) Winged seed. (D) Fascicle. (E) Shoot. (F) Mature seed cone.

Pines have acicular-shaped leaves, commonly called needles. Needles mostly occur in fascicles of 2 to 8, except Pinus monophylla, in which they usually occur singly. The fascicle sheath is comprised of bud scales which can be either deciduous or persistent.

The seed cone usually matures in 2 (rarely 3) years. It is comprised of woody cone scales with subtending bracts spirally arranged around a central axis. The exposed part of a closed cone is called the apophysis. The umbo is the protuberance on the apophysis. On some pines, the apophysis will be armed with a prickle. Seeds usually occur in pairs of 2 at the base of the cone scale and can be winged or wingless.

Glossary Interactive Comparison Tool Back to Pinaceae - The Pine Family