Abstract Initiation of somatic embryogenesis from cotyledons of 7–56-day-old plants was significantly higher from somatic embryo-derived plants (somatic plants) than zygotic ones (zygotic plants). The frequency of somatic embryogenesis initiation decreased with plant age reaching zero for 56-day-old zygotic plants, at which age somatic plants still displayed a significant response (10%). Embryogenic cultures were also obtained from needles, but only needles from somatic plants displayed competence. Second generation embryogenic cultures (from organs of somatic plants) were multiplied and matured. Somatic embryos from cotyledonary somatic embryos, cotyledons or needles from somatic plants were able to be matured and converted into plantlets.