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A conifer is a type of tree or shrub characterised by needle-like leaves and bearing reproductive structures called cones. Conifers were once classified as an order (Order Coniferales) within the Class Gymnospermae. In the modern classification scheme (see Kingdom Plantae), the order has been raised to that of a phylum or division. The rules of taxonomic nomenclature require that taxa bear the name of the type genus (in this case Pinus). Thus, the correct name becomes Division Pinophyta, and conifer remains as a widely used common name for plants in this division.
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