The term conifer derives from Latin and means “cone-bearing”. Cones are the reproductive structures of conifers and contain the seeds. Most people refer to them as “pine cones”, but in fact all conifers bear cones, including spruces, firs, redwoods, larches, etc. This photo is the developing cone of a Norway spruce (Picea abies, “Aurea.”)
Note that it hangs down from its branch-this is important as we examine other types of cones.