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Pinus echinata

Pinus echinata
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pinus echinata  P.Miller  1768

Synonyms: Pinus lutea Lodd. ex Gordon, Pinus mitis Michx., Pinus royleana Jameson ex Lindl., Pinus squarrosa Walter, Pinus variabilis (Aiton) Lamb.

Common names:Shortleaf pine, Arkansas soft pine, Old field pine, Shortleaf yellow pine, Shortstraw pine, Southern yellow pine



Tree to 35(-42) m tall, with trunk to 0.9(-1.2) m in diameter. Bark reddish brown to grayish brown with rusty highlights, broken up into flat, rectangular, scaly plates by broad, dark furrows. Crown egg- to dome-shaped, deep, with numerous slender, horizontal branches densely clothed with foliage at the tips. Twigs slender, reddish brown, often thinly waxy, hairless, rough with the bases of scale leaves. Buds 0.5-1 cm long, resinous. Needles in bundles of two (or three), each needle (4-)7-11(-13) cm long, flexible but straight or gently twisted, lasting 3-5 years, dark yellowish green to bluish green. Individual needles with thin, scattered lines of stomates on both the inner and outer faces, and one to four resin canals at the corners and in between, midway between the needle surface and the two-stranded midvein. Sheath 0.7-1.5 cm long, weathering to 0.5-1 cm long and persisting and falling with the bundle. Pollen cones 15-30 mm long, yellowish green, sometimes with a blush of purple. Seed cones 4-7 cm long, egg-shaped, with 75-100(-120) seed scales, green before maturity, ripening reddish brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then persisting several years before falling with the short (to 1 cm) stalk. Seed  scales paddle-shaped, the exposed face horizontally diamond-shaped, low, crossed by a ridge topped by a large umbo bearing a down-curved, sharp spine (hence the scientific name, Latin for “prickly”). Seed body 6-7 mm long, the firmly attached wing another 12-18 mm longer.

Southeastern  United States, from southernmost New York, central Pennsylvania, and southern Ohio south to northern Florida and west to eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas with a gap in the Mississippi River valley. Forming pure stands or mixed with other pines and hardwoods on dry, upland sites; 200-610 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(The very wide range and abundance of Pinus echinata, which is actually spreading into abandoned farmland, indicate an assessment of Least Concern)



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 CodePINUEW4W47

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