Pinus palustris

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Pinus palustris - Longleaf Pine, Longleaf Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine
Common name: Longleaf Pine, Longleaf Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine
Family: Pinaceae (Pine)
Distribution: SE US
Habitat: Warm temperate to subtropical coastal plain, into uplands and foothills of southern Appalachian Mountains; 1-700 meters
Hardiness: 0 - 30 F
Life form: Evergreen tree
Cone characteristics: Pollen cones are purplish and .8-1" long. Seed cones mature 2 years after pollination and quickly disperse seeds. 6-8" long.
Structure: Oval
Average height: 150'
Bark characteristics: Orange-brown, with scaly, rectangular plates as it ages.
Foliage characteristics: In fascicles of 2-3, slightly twisted, green, with fine stomata lines and serrulate margins. Persist on tree for 2 years. 8-18" long.
Ethnobotanical uses: Many Native American tribes used the wood of this tree. Many other tribes used and continue to use the long needles to make baskets. The Louisiana Coushatta tribe, in particular, were among the first practitioners of the coiled pine needle basket technique, and are still known for their skills.
Description: The longleaf pine is a fire adapted species that once blanketed much of the southeastern United States. Native Americans of the region utilized it for many things, including woven pine needle baskets. Non-Native American settlers to the region used the pine heavily for turpentine, a once important substance. Because of the pine’s heavy usage, and reluctance to allow low-grade wildfires to periodically clear out the understory, longleaf pines are now considered endangered, with old-growth stands being exceedingly rare. However, if this tree can be restored, it is likely to be very successful in our changing climate.
The longleaf pine is the state tree of North Carolina.
Links: Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant FamiliesThe Gymnosperm DatabaseUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


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