The family Pinaceae (pine family), is in the order Pinales and includes many of the well-known conifers of commercial importance such as cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces. It is the largest conifer family in species diversity, with between 220-250 species (depending on taxonomic opinion) in 11 genera, and the second-largest (after Cupressaceae) in geographical range, found in most of the Northern Hemisphere with the majority of the species in temperate climates but ranging from subarctic to tropical. One species just crosses the equator in southeast Asia. Major centres of diversity are found in the mountains of southwest China, Mexico, central Japan and California.
They are trees (rarely shrubs) growing from 2 to 100 m tall, mostly evergreen (except Larix and Pseudolarix, deciduous), resinous, monoecious, with subopposite or whorled branches, and spirally arranged, linear (needle-like) leaves. The female cones are large and usually woody, 2-60 cm long, with numerous spirally-arranged scales, and two winged seeds on each scale. The male cones are small, 0.5-6 cm long, and fall soon after pollination; pollen dispersal is by wind. Seed dispersal is mostly by wind, but some species have large seeds with reduced wings, and are dispersed by birds. The embryos are multi-cotyledonous, with 3-24 cotyledons.
US Patent Issued to BASF Plant Science on Oct. 11 for "Starchy-Endosperm and/ or Germinating Embryo-Specific Expression in Mono-Cotyledonous Plants" (North Carolina Inventors)
Oct 13, 2011; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 13 -- United States Patent no. 8,034,994, issued on Oct. 11, was assigned to BASF Plant Science GmbH...