Characteristic features of gymnosperms (conifers)
Most conifers are evergreen, have perennial leaves, i.e. their leaves stay on the shoots 3-8 years. Some conifers, however, have deciduous leaves, lasting only one season (e.g. Larix sp.) The leaves are always simple, either narrow, linear or needle-like, or very small, scale-like. Several types of leaves may develop on different places of the same branch. We shall distinguish between six basic leaf shapes of conifers: a) needle-like; b) linear, c) linear-lanceolate, d) falcate, e) flabellate, f) scale-like.