Gymnosperms are the small group of plants, which constitutes a sub division of spermatophyta or phanerogams. There are about 73 genera and 7000 species in subdivision gymnospermae.
1. As food
- Seeds of some species are edible: Cycas, Ginko, Pinus, Gnetum
- Stem of Cycas revoluta is a good source of Sago starch
- Zamia is a rich source of starch.
- Seeds and stem of Cycas revoluta used for making wine.
- Leaves of Cycas circinalis, Taxus are used as medicines.
- Pollen grains of some Cycas have narcotic effect
- Oil of Juniperus is important.
- Ephedrine derived from Ephedra used in treatment of cold, cough.
- Anti-cancerous drug called taxol, is obtained from the bark of Taxus
- Species of Cycas are used for decoration purposes
- Ginkgo bioloba, possess beautiful ornamental leaves
- Thuja, Pinus, Taxus etc are grown in parks.
- Spruce or Picea is an important source of pulp wood.
- Wood of Juniperus is used in making pencils, scales and holders.
- Bark of Larix yields a tannin
- Terpentine is obtained from Abies balsemea.
- Wood of red spruce is especially important for music industry.