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Pinus dalatensis

Pinus dalatensis - Vietnamese white pine, Dalat pine
  • Pinus dalatensis - Vietnamese white pine, Dalat pine  - Click to enlarge
  • Pinus dalatensis cones - Click to enlarge
  • Pinus dalatensis leaves - Click to enlarge


Scientific name: Pinus dalatensis  Ferré 1960

Synonyms: Pinus dalatensis var. dalatensis, Pinus wallichiana var. dalatensis (Ferré) Silba

Infraspecific taxa: Pinus dalatensis var. anemophila (Businský) Aver., Pinus dalatensis var. bidoupensis Businský, Pinus dalatensis var. procera (Businský) Aver. 

Common names: Vietnamese white pine, Dalat pine (English), Thông Dà lat, Thông Nam lá (Vietnamese)



Tree to 40 m tall, with trunk to 0.5 m in diameter. Bark light gray, flaking in reddish brown scales and becoming shallowly furrowed between small blocks. Crown irregularly cylindrical and open, with horizontal branches sparsely clothed with foliage near the tips. Twigs reddish brown, hairless to densely hairy, thinly coated with wax. Buds 6-12 mm long, not or sparsely resinous. Needles in bundles of five, each needle (3-)4-10(-14) cm long, thin and flexible, lasting 2-3 years, bluish green. Individual needles with lines of stomates only on the inner faces, an undivided midvein, two resin canals touching the epidermis of the outer face, and sometimes with a third resin canal touching the epidermis of one or the other inner face near their juncture. Sheath 1-1.5 cm long, soon shed. Pollen cones about 20 mm long, purple. Seed cones (5-)10.5-16(-23) cm long, taperingly cylindrical, with about 75 seed scales, green before maturity, ripening light brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then falling with the stout stalk, up to 5 cm long. Seed scales broadly paddle-shaped, thin and flexible, the exposed part a little thicker, straight, somewhat cupped, ending in a narrow, diamond-shaped umbo. Seed body 6-8(-10) mm long, the wing 15-20 mm longer.

Vietnamese white pine of the rarest and most narrowly localized conifer species. It was first described from a locality in the central highlands near the resort town of Dalat (hence the scientific name) and has since been collected elsewhere in the highlands.

Highlands of central Vietnam. Growing in pure stands or, more commonly, mixed with other conifers and evergreen hardwoods on shallow, infertile soils; (550-)1,400- 2,300(-2,600) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

Pinus dalatensis extent of occurrence is beyond the 20,000 km² threshold for Vulnerable (VU) under criterion B1. However, the area of occupancy (AOO) is likely to be much less than 2,000 km² which is within the threshold for VU under criterion B2. There are currently less than 10 locations and there has been a recent decline in its AOO and quality of habitat within limited parts of its range. However, as the decline is very limited in extent, given that the majority of the subpopulations are in remote, relatively undisturbed areas as well as the high likelihood of new localities been found, an assessment of Near Threatened is more appropriate than Vulnerable.

Pinus dalatensis is a submontane and montane pine growing in a tropical climate between (550) 1,400 and 2,300 (2,600) m and forms stands of a few to about 300 trees surrounded by evergreen angiosperm forest dominated by members of the Fagaceae. In most localities, the pines occupy rocky outcrops or ridges and adjacent slopes where competition from broadleaves is less intense. Some other conifers may also be present, among these are the rare pine Pinus krempfii (Dalat area only) and Fokienia hodginsii.

In the southern parts of its range and at lower altitudes, forest clearance, forest conversion for agriculture and infrastructure developments have resulted in the loss or degradation of some stands including those where the type specimens were collected. In other parts of its range, exploitation of the associated conifer Fokienia hodginsii, has also degraded some stands. Subpopulations tend to be very small and are increasingly reduced to isolated areas.

This species is not directly exploited, probably due to its rarity.

In Vietnam, it is known from the following reserves: Ngoc Linh, Bach Ma National Park, Kon Ka Kinh Nature Reserve, Chu Yang Sinh, Deo Ngoan Muc and BiDoup-Nui Ba (Vietnam). In Lao PDR it is recorded from the Nakai Nam Theun protected area.


Cultivars: -



  • 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.

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