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Pinus greggii

Pinus greggii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pinus greggii   Engelmann ex Parlatore  1868

Synonyms: Pinus greggii var. greggii

Common names: Gregg's pine, Gregg pine, Pino Chino, Pino Garabato, Pino Ocote, Pino Prieto (Spanish)



Tree to 25 m tall, with trunk to 0.8 m in diameter. Bark grayish brown, long remaining smooth, becoming thick at the base of large trees and broadly ridged between deep furrows. Crown dome-shaped to cylindrical, open, with numerous horizontal branches well clothed with foliage. Twigs reddish brown to grayish brown, hairless, smooth, with shallow grooves between the bases of the scale leaves. Buds 8-15 mm long, not conspicuously resinous. Needles in bundles of three, each needle (7-)10-15 cm long, stiff and straight, lasting 3-4 years, shiny light green. Individual needles with several lines of stomates on all three faces, and two to four (to six) resin canals at the corners surrounding the two-stranded midvein midway to the needle surface. Sheath 8-10 mm long, weathering to (3-)5-8 mm or occasionally shed entirely, but usually persisting and falling with the bundle. Pollen cones 15-20 mm, yellowish brown. Seed cones in circles of three to six (to eight) around the twig, (6-)10-13(-15) cm long, egg-shaped to oblong, asymmetrical, especially at the base, with 60-120 seed scales, green before maturity, ripening shiny yellowish brown, remaining closed and attached to the branch by a very short, stout stalk for many years and gradually opening and releasing the seeds over time, beginning at the middle and often leaving the bottom scales closed like a handle. Seed scales broadly wedge-shaped, the exposed face diamond-shaped and flat with a small, flat umbo bearing a tiny, fragile prickle. Seed body 5-8 mm long, the clasping wing another 14-18(-20) mm longer. The serotinous cones indicate adaptation to fire, but no studies on how this affects seed dispersal and germination have been undertaken (or published). The species name honors Josiah Gregg (1806-1850), who collected the type specimen and died during a later collecting trip.

Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico, from southeastern Coahuila and central Nuevo León to northern Puebla. Mixed with other trees in varied forest types; 1,300-2,700(-3,000) m. Annual precipitation varies between 600-800 mm in much of its range, except on the eastern escarpment of the mountain ranges along the Hidalgo-Veracruz borderline, where it is 1,000-1,600 mm.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable

Pinus greggii's extent of occurrence is beyond the thresholds for a threatened category. The area of occupancy is more than 500 km2, but less than 2,000 km2. There are a total of eight locations and the population is severely fragmented. A substantial decline has occurred, and is continuing to occur, in the southern subpopulation (Pinus greggii var. australis) which represents the majority of the total population. There is a lesser ongoing decline in the northern subpopulation (Pinus greggii var. greggii). Consequently the species is assessed as Vulnerable.

It is nowhere abundant in its scattered range, and always occurs mixed with e.g. Quercus, Platanus, Liquidambar, and Fraxinus, other pines, e.g. Pinus patula, Pinus pseudostrobus, Pinus teocote, Pinus montezumae, and Pinus arizonica var. stormiae, with Pinus cembroides and Juniperus flaccida on dry sites, and at higher and more mesic locations with Abies vejarii, Pseudotsuga menziesii, or Cupressus lusitanica.

Deforestation and to a lesser extent general logging in pine forests are the main threats to this species. Although locally exploited with other pines, Gregg's Pine is not specifically in demand as a timber tree in Mexico. In many areas it has been severely depleted by general logging and overexploitation of forests. Foresters from abroad are taking an interest in its potential as a forest plantation tree in other countries; it has been introduced for that purpose in (among other countries) India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Brazil. Like another, and probably related, "closed-cone" pine, Pinus radiata, it seems to grow much faster in trial plots than several other species (Dvorak and Donahue 1992). Gregg's Pine is rare in cultivation and probably restricted to botanical collections (arboreta), although in Italy it is sometimes planted as an amenity tree.

Some locations are within protected areas - Sierra Gorda, Los Marmoles and Cuenca Hidrografica del Rio Necaxa Reserve.



  • 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 CodePINGEEXN51
Weight1.5 kg
Height50 - 60 cm

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