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Gymnosperms are plants that have exposed seeds, either in cones, like the conifers, or on the ends of stalks, like in the ginkgo trees. Their seeds are open to the air, not enclosed in flowers or fruits, as are the seeds of the angiosperms. Take the pine tree, for example. When the cones that are produced open, the seeds come fluttering out, attached to a woody, fibrous "wing-like" attachment that gently flies the seed to the ground. The seeds sprout very quickly under normal conditions; pine trees will grow in just about any type of yard or forest soil. I remember my grandfather had a cleared field he used to farm when I was a young boy. I recently went back to survey the field, and found it was overran by pine trees! They were as thick as they could be, evidence that nature will reclaim fields once used by agriculture if not properly maintained.
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