These bisexual, evergreen and deciduous trees, occasionally shrubs are resinous and aromatic in all parts. Leaves are simple, needle-like to linear and sessile to short petiolate. Leaves are borne singly and then spirally arranged on long shoots or in fasciculate tufts on short shoots. Male cones are axillary, solitary or clustered and ovoid, ellipsoid or cylindrical. Sporophylls are overlapping, bearing two pollen sacs. Female cones are compound, ancillary, solitary or grouped and scales are overlapping and free from the subtending bracts. Each scale bears two ovules on the upper side. Seeds are winged. The number of cotyledons can vary from 2 – 15.
The family is mostly temperate Northern Hemisphere. Pollination is by wind and seeds are dispersed by wind. Pinaceae has 11 genera: Abies, Cathaya, Cedrus, Keteleeria, Larix, Nothotsuga, Picea, Pinus, Pseudolaris, Pseudotsuga, Tsuga. The family members have value in the softwood timber industry for paper, tar, turpentine production. Cedar of Lebanon was allegedly used to construct King Solomon’s Temple. Pinus is the Latin word for pine.