Economic Importance of Gymnosperms

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.
2. As medicine
  • 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
3. As ornaments
  • Species of Cycas are used for decoration purposes
  • Ginkgo bioloba, possess beautiful ornamental leaves
  • Thuja, Pinus, Taxus etc are grown in parks.
4. In industry
  • 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.
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