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  • biggest family of conifers - spruces, cedars, larches, true pines (about 40 species)
  • relatively long needle-like leaves, borne in clusters of two, three, or five, held together by a base of papery sheath
  • male flowers are bright yellow by the ripening pollen
  • female flowers are blue at first, and purple by midsummer
  • cones take a year to mature
  • long needles are carried in pairs and have a bluish tinge

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