Pines of three species, junipers, larches, oaks, maples, willows and the Thuja Orientalis have been identified.
The best known and by far the largest division of the Gymnosperms is that of the cone-bearing trees (pines, firs, cedars, larches, &c.), which play a prominent part in the vegetation of the present day, especially in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere; certain members of this class are of considerable antiquity, but the conifers as a whole are still vigorous and show but little sign of decadence.
The mountain forests consist chiefly of firs, Free Towns pines and larches, but contain Lbeck also silver firs, beeches and Bremen oaks.
On the French Alps a sweet exudation is found on the small branchlets of young larches in June and July, resembling manna in taste and laxative properties, and known as Manna de Briancon or Manna Brigantina; it occurs in small whitish irregular granular masses, which are removed in the morning before they are too much dried by the sun; this manna seems to differ little in composition from the sap of the tree, which also contains mannite; its cathartic powers are weaker than those of the manna of the manna ash (Fraximus ornus), but it is employed in France for the same purposes.
In Germany a fungus (Polyporus Laricis) grows on the roots and stems of decaying larches, which was formerly in esteem as a drastic purgative.