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Pinus massoniana

Pinus massoniana
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pinus massoniana A.Lambert  1803

Synonyms: Pinea massoniana (Lamb.) Opiz, Pinus argyi Lemée & H.Lév., Pinus canaliculata Miq., Pinus cavaleriei Lemée & H.Lév., Pinus crassicorticea Y.C.Zhong & K.X.Huang, Pinus nepalensis J.Forbes, Pinus sinensis D.Don

Common names:Horsetail pine, Chinese red pine, Masson's pine, Ma wei song (Chinese), Thông đuôi ngựa (Vietnamese)



Tree to 30(-45) m tall, with trunk to 1(-1.5) m in diameter. Bark reddish brown, smooth, and peeling in strips above, graying and breaking up into vertically aligned, narrowly rectangular, flat-topped blocks flaking to reveal reddish brown patches and separated by deep furrows, sometimes persistently reddish brown and thinner. Crown dome-shaped, sometimes flattening with age, often open and irregular, with numerous upwardly angled to horizontal branches densely clothed with foliage. Twigs yellowish brown, sometimes a little waxy, hairless, rough with the bases of scale leaves. Buds 2-5 cm long, not resinous. Needles in bundles of two (or three), each needle (7-)14-20(-22) cm long, very slender and flexible, slightly twisted, lasting 2 years but produced twice each year, bright green. Individual needles with inconspicuous lines of stomates on both the inner and outer faces, a two-stranded midvein, and four to nine resin canals by the needle surface, mostly around the outer face. Sheath 10-20 mm long, weathering to 5-12 mm and persisting and falling with the bundle. Pollen cones densely crowded, 15-20 mm long, yellowish brown. Seed cones (2.5-)4-7(-9) cm long, egg-shaped to almost spherical, with (50-)70-100 scales, green before maturity, ripening rich brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then falling or persisting 2-3 years before falling with the very short stalks to 5(-10) mm long. Seed scales roughly rectangular, the exposed face horizontally diamond-shaped, flat to slightly raised, crossed by a weak ridge topped by a large, flat umbo bearing a fragile or persistent blunt or sharp prickle. Seed body 4-6(-9) mm long, the easily detachable wing another (12-)16-24(-30) mm longer.

From Sichuan and eastern Yunnan eastward throughout southern China and on Taiwan and Hainan and in northern Vietnam (where perhaps not native). Forming pure forests and woodlands or mixed with other conifers, hardwoods, and bamboos; 0-1,500(-2,000) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(Despite the fact that one of its two varieties has been assessed as Critically Endangered (Pinus massoniana var. hainanensis, Pinus massoniana var. massoniana), the species as a whole, being so common and widespread, remains 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 CodePINUP68Z61

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