Conifers are cone-bearing plants, in the Gymnosperm division. They make up the vast majority of the gymnosperms ('naked seed' bearing plants) - the only other gymnosperms are cycads and gnetophytes. Conifers are charactarized mainly by their cones, which take many forms, from the familiar pine cones we see so often to little 'balls' and juniper 'berries' used to flavor gin (these are more similar to a pine cone than to any type of berry). In addition to cones, most conifers also have needle-like leaves, or plate-like leaves in some cases. Almost all are evergreen, but there are several deciduous species, such as Dawn Redwood or larch.

Conifers are common in harshly cold habitats such as high mountains or boreal forests. They are all wind pollinated and lack fruit for animals to disperse (although jays or squirrels may bury the 'nuts' and forget about them). Conifers are valued for their beauty and grace, but also for their high-quality timber. The tallest, most massive, and oldest trees in the world are all conifers.