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Pinus canariensis

Pinus canariensis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pinus canariensis C.Smith  1828

Synonyms: -

Common names: Canary Islands pine, Canary pine, Pino canario, Pino de Canarias (Spanish)



Tree to 30(-40) m tall, with trunk to 2 m in diameter. Bark rich reddish brown weathering gray, thick, separated into small, flaky plates by shallow furrows. Crown conical at first, becoming flat-topped and open with age, with slender branches, originally angled upward but becoming downswept with age and densely clothed with foliage. Twigs yellowish brown, rough with bases of scale leaves, hairless. Buds 15-20 mm long, not resinous. Needles in bundles of three, each needle (15-)20-30 cm long, flexible and arched, lasting 2-3 years, shiny, bright, dark green or a little bluish. Individual needles with narrow lines of stomates on all three faces, two to four resin canals at the outer corners and inside the outer face, and a two-stranded midvein. Sheath 10-20 mm long, persisting and falling with the bundle. Even mature trees with slender, juvenile shoots emerging from trunks and large branches bearing single, blue-gray leaves 3-8 cm long. Pollen cones numerous, (10-)15-25(-30) mm long, purplish yellow. seed cones (7-)10-17(-20) cm long, taperingly cylindrical, with 75-120 seed scales, grayish green before maturity, ripening shiny light yellowish brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then falling, leaving behind the relatively slender stalk 5-20 mm long. Seed scales elongate diamond-shaped, the exposed face projecting as a straight, diamond-shaped pyramid topped by an umbo sometimes with a small, transient prickle. Seed body (7-)9-12(-14) mm long, the firmly attached wing 12-25 mm longer.

Western Canary Islands, from Gran Canaria to La Palma and Hierro. Forming pure stands of varying density on the dry, rocky slopes of the volcanic mountains above the belt of laurel forest; (500-)1,000-2,000(-2,200) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(Pinus canariensis is abundant on Tenerife and is clearly recovering from past over-cutting. Really big trees are rare because of past exploitation, enormous specimens are now 'monuments' for tourists to see. But trees in all age classes in extensive forests now occupy the entire pine belt ('Corona Forestal') on all sides of Pico del Teide on Tenerife. There is no evidence of cutting or recent fires and the authorities are well aware of the importance of retaining forest cover on the extremely permeable volcanic 'soil' of the island in order to ensure water supplies. Exploitation of its timber has been banned and this ban is strictly enforced. The situation is assumed to be the same on the other islands, except on Gomera where the species is absent. Although the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, calculated on the basis of collected herbarium specimens, fall below the threshold for Vulnerable there is no current or ongoing decline. Past decline has not only been halted, it has been reversed due to active management and protection. On this basis an assessment of Least Concern is appropriate)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodePINSW9OP36

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