The familiar pinecone is actually a reproductive organ that contains either female eggs or male sperms. Once pollinated, an egg will form a pine embryo enveloped within a protective seed coat. The embryo and supply of nutrients remain dormant until the outer shell is exposed to water levels that entice germination. As food reserves are made available, a tiny root emerges and is followed by the hypocotyl part of the stem. Growth of the stem carries the seed case up out of the soil to be shed so that immature leaves called cotyledons can expand and become photosynthetic. The young plant will continue to grow depending on both the shoot and root auspices to garner nourishment.