One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tree that bears cones and needle-like or scale-like leaves that are typically evergreen. Conifers are of major importance as the source of softwood, and also supply resins and turpentine.
Order Coniferales, class Coniferopsida, subdivision Gymnospermae: several families, including the pines and firs (Pinaceae) and the cypresses (Cupressaceae)
- ‘They usually perch in the open at the very top of a conifer or snag or in a small tree.’
- ‘It is a good time to buy and plant conifers and evergreens, summer-flowering bulbs and dahlia tubers.’
- ‘Originally from China, it is one of the planet's oldest species and is a conifer despite its maidenhair fern-like leaves.’
- ‘Some dwarf conifers, such as bird's nest spruce, grow very slowly, as little as an inch per year.’
- ‘Gymnosperms, including conifers, gingkoes, and cycads, were very numerous, as were ferns and horsetails.’
- ‘Dense shade can also occur under trees with dense foliage such as Norway maples and some conifers.’
- ‘One damaged chestnut tree and five mature conifers had to be removed.’
- ‘The hard, yellowish material is a fossil form of the sticky sap that oozes from trees such as pines and other conifers.’
- ‘Most conifers and a few hardwoods, such as sweetgum and tuliptree, have excurrent forms.’
- ‘Juniper is one of Britain's three native species of conifer and is evergreen with short spiny leaves.’
- ‘There are scores of richly coloured evergreens and conifers too.’
- ‘Tolerant of cold winds and frost, its height makes it an ideal pot plant in a mixed bed of carpeting heathers and ground-covering conifers.’
- ‘Dogwoods and conifers were carefully planted to create a dramatic, modern Scottish garden with a pretty waterfall at the bottom.’
- ‘Evergreen trees, including many conifers, support more leaf area than deciduous trees in the same environment.’
- ‘Astonishingly though, it's a conifer and is one of the oldest surviving tree species on earth.’
- ‘Tree nests are located on the branch of a mature conifer, up to 150 feet off the ground.’
- ‘It contains narcissi and a slow-growing conifer, which will soon be too big.’
- ‘One of our neighbours has had to have the tree men round to take down a big conifer as they were worried it was going to blown down onto the road.’
- ‘They do not need a wall and are happy to scramble over heathers, conifers, trees or hedges.’
- ‘The famous giant redwood is a large evergreen conifer, whereas, in contrast, the dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin, literally ‘cone-bearing’, from conus (see cone).
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