Identifying a Coniferous Plant
Coniferous plants are usually evergreen, and many have needles instead of leaves. Most important, coniferous plants reproduce by growing seeds inside of cones. These cones ripen over the course of weeks, and the seeds are then dispersed either by being dropped, eaten or carried away by forest wildlife. This is something that only a coniferous plant can do.
How Coniferous Plants Begin Reproduction
In the spring, coniferous plants begin gearing up for reproduction. The trees shift out of a slower winter metabolism into a high production metabolism. The trees absorb nutrients and spread roots as deep and as far as possible, so the plant is at its strongest once reproduction begins.
Once the tree is at its optimum strength, it begins forming cones. The cones start out small and are usually green. Over the course of several weeks, these cones grow and mature into the brown cones most people recognize. Once the cones mature, reproduction begins.
The Process of Coniferous Plant Reproduction
Coniferous plants include some male cones that have pollen and some female cones that contain the ova. The pollen from the male cones is transferred to female cones by the movement of the wind and by insect movement. Once the pollen enters the female cones, seeds begin to form. The seeds continue to mature, and once they are complete the cones open and the seeds begin to spread. Some seeds drop to the ground and sprout, while others are eaten and deposited in other areas. Some seeds remain trapped in the cone and fall out when the cone falls, or when wildlife moves the cone.
Once the seed is deposited, it has the chance to sprout and grow into a new tree.