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Name:    Gayle
Status:     educator
Age:     40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1999  

What is the difference between a male pine cone and a female pine cone?


In short, the male cones are ususally small, more papery, and provide pollen. The female cones tend to be more rigid and long lasting, and don't provide polllen, but are rather the receptors of pollen. The female cones are those which eventually will release the resultant sed of the fertilization.

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Ric Rupnik

Staminate (male) cones are small and form in clusters near the base of new stems in the spring, present for a few weeks in spring at the beginning of the growing season. They fall off after pollen is dispersed, leaving the ovate (female) cones to develop into familiar seed bearing pine cones. A botany text will explain completely.

J. Elliott

Hi Gayle,

The pine cones that you are familiar with are probably female pine cones. You probably have never noticed male pine cones because they are much smaller and don't look much like the female pine cones. Male pine cones are much smaller and produce pollen grains.

Female pine cones contain the egg.

The pollen is carried from the male pine cones to the female pine cones by the wind.

Thanks for the question. I hope my answer was of some help.

Cameron Millsom
Trinity Education Centre
University of Melbourne

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