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Pinus

 

Pine

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyPinaceaePine family: cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces
GenusPinusLatin for “pine”

About plant names...

Pines (genus Pinus) are a genus of coniferous (cone-bearing) trees containing approximately 115 species, and found nearly everywhere in the northern hemisphere. They have been introduced to the southern hemisphere as well.

These tables compare pines that are currently in the database. Click the scientific name to display information on a particular species.

 

Pinus (Pine)

Pine (Pinus) · Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) · 4/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA

 
Pinus albicaulis

Pinus edulis

Pinus jeffreyi
Common Name

Whitebark Pine

Pinyon Pine

Jeffrey Pine
Plant Up to 69' (21 m) tall, trunk up to 5' (1.5 m) in diameter. Crown may be rounded, irregular, or contorted. Bark is pale gray, appearing whitish from a distance Typically 10-20' (3-6.1 m) tall. Crown dense, conical or rounded 79-128' (24-39 m) in height, and 24-47" (60-120 cm) in diameter, rarely up to 50% larger. Bark is yellow brown to cinnamon-colored, with large scaly plates and deep furrows. Resin scent is similar to vanilla, lemon, pineapple, violets, apple, or butterscotch.
Flowers Pollen cones are bright red when in flower Red-brown, inconspicuous  
Leaves Needles are in groups of five, tending to curve upward, 1-2½" (3-7 cm) long × ¹/₃₂" (1.5 mm) wide, deep yellow-green Typically two blue-green needles per group, sometimes 1 or 3. Upwardly curved, 1¼" (3.2 cm) long. Needles have 2 or 3 sides Needles are in groups of three, bluish-grayish-green or yellow-green in color. They are 4½-9" (12-23 cm) long.
Seeds Cones oval to roughly cylindrical, ⅜-½" (1-1.5 cm) long, bright red Cones are oval to round, yellowish to red-brown, up to 1¼" (3.2 cm) around  
Fruit     Cones are 4½-9" (12-24 cm) in length, dark purple at first, becoming pale brown, with thin woody scales and sharp inward-pointing barbs.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-5

USDA Zones: 3-8

Habitats Thin, rocky soils near or somewhat below the timberline On dry mountain slopes and plateaus, at elevations of 4921-6890' (1.5-2.1 km), max 1.7 mi (2.7 km) Above 4921' (1.5 km)
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence ”Vulnerable” Moderately common  

 

 
Pinus lambertiana

Pinus longaeva

Pinus nigra ‘Arnold Sentinel’
Common Name

Sugar Pine

Bristlecone Pine

Austrian Pine
Plant 98-164' (30-50 m) tall, with a maximum of 246' (75 m). Trunk is 35-71" (90-180 cm) in diameter, with a maximum of 11' (3.3 m). The crown is a tall, narrow cone, becoming more rounded with age. Bark is red- to gray-brown Up to 52' (16 m) tall. Crown is rounded or often irregular due to winds. Because of extreme age and harsh conditions, portions of each tree are usually dead. Bark is bright orange-yellow 20' (6.1 m) tall, and oval and narrow in shape.
Flowers Red-brown, inconspicuous Pale red-brown; inconspicuous Inconspicuous flowers occur for a short time in April or May. Male flowers are clusters of orange-yellow catkins, while female flowers are small yellow-green conelike structures.
Leaves Needles occur in groups of five, each 1¾-4" (5-10 cm) × ~¹/₃₂" (1-1.5 mm). They are straight, pliable, and blue-green in color Usually needles are in groups of 5 (sometimes 3 or 4), curving upward, deep yellow green, and unusually short ½-1¼" (1.5-3.5 cm) × ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) Needles are in clusters of two, 4" (10 cm) long, stiffer and denser than those of red pines.
Seeds Immature cones are up to 12" (30 cm) long × 1¼" (3.2 cm) around, tightly packed and almost smooth, purplish. Mature cones expand to up to 14" (35 cm) in length—longer than any other conifer Cones are 2-3½" (6-9.5 cm) long, purple when young, becoming red-brown. Each seed has a sharp thin thorn  
Fruit     Cones are up to 3" (7.6 cm) long, and pale brown or yellow brown in color.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 5-10

USDA Zones: 5-10

USDA Zones: 4
Habitats Mixed conifer forests; over 80% is in California Mountainous regions, at and somewhat below the tree line, elevations of 1.1-2.1 mi (1.7-3.4 km)  
Type Wild Wild Cultivar
Occurrence Fairly common Rare  

 

 
Pinus ponderosa

Pinus rigida

Pinus strobus
Common Name

Ponderosa Pine

Pitch Pine

Eastern White Pine
Plant 60-130' (18-39 m) tall, with a max of 260' (79 m). Trunk 31-47" (80-120 cm) in diameter (max 8' (2.5 m)). Twigs are orange-brown, rough, and springy. Resin scent is odorless or similar to turpentine. Trees are often relatively small and oddly shaped, but can reach 80' (24 m). Bark is dark and scaly when the plant is young, becoming scaly, peelable plates that are light brown or red brown. Tufts of needles can occur on the trunk Typically 50-80' (15-24 m) high; up to 120' (36 m). Bark on younger trees is smooth and gray; on older trees it takes the form of gray or reddish rounded scales
Flowers Red-brown, resinous Red to yellow, in clusters at twig tips Males flowers yellow, female flowers light green
Leaves Needles occur in groups of 2-5, with three most common. Each needle is 2½-10" (7-25 cm) × ¹/₃₂" (1.5 mm), deep yellow-green, slightly twisted

 

Needles are 2½-5" (6.3-12 cm) long, in groups of 3, yellow-green or green, twisted

 

Needles are 3-5" (7.6-12 cm) long, in groups of 5. Blue-green needles are thinner (less than ¹/₃₂" (1 mm)) than those of other species of pines
Seeds Cones are about 4½" (11 cm) long, oval to cylindrical when immature, maturing to be more egg-shaped Cones are egg-shaped, 2-4" (5-10 cm) long, light brown or grayish in color. Each seed in the cone has a sharp thorny protuberance

 

Cones are 5-10" (12-25 cm) long, oval or cylidrical in shape, up to 1½" (3.8 cm) wide
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 5-10

USDA Zones: 4-7

USDA Zones: 3-7
Habitats Mostly mountainous regions, either alone or mixed with other pines Dry acidic sandly uplands to swampy lowlands; tolerates very poor soils Temperate climates, sandy soils, rocky highlands
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common Common

 

 
Pinus taeda

Pinus torreyana
Common Name

Loblolly Pine

Torrey Pine
Plant Trees are 60-90' (18-27 m) tall, with a typically straight trunk 16-59" (40-150 cm) in diameter. The bark on mature trees has furrows. Between 49-75' (15-23 m) tall, typically crooked and irregular. Bark is red-brown to purple-red, deeply furrowed
Flowers Male flowers are groups of red to yellow cylinders at branch tips, each ½-1½" (1.3-3.8 cm) long. Inconspicuous
Leaves Needles in groups of three, 4½-9" (12-22 cm) long.

 

Needles, usually five per group, typically 8-12" (20-30 cm) long × ¹/₁₆" (2 mm), dark green, sometimes slightly twisted
Seeds

Pinus (Pine) 


Female cones are green to pale brown, conical, 2½-5" (7-13 cm) × ¾-1" (2-3 cm), with sharp spines ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-6 mm) long.

 

Heavy, oval-shaped, 4-6" (10-15 cm) long, yellow- to red-brown
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 8-10
Habitats Regions with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Low coastal bluffs flanking the Soledad Valley in SanDiego county, California
Type Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Critically endangered

 

Online References:

Pinus at the Trees of Reed (Reed College)

Pinus on The Gymnosperm Database

Pinus on Wikipedia

Pinus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Pinus (Pine)

(Pinus) · Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida Mill.) · 9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 4½ × 3' (1.4 × 0.9 m) Species not yet identified