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Pinus palustris

Georgia Pine
Pinus palustris
Pinus palustris UGA1.jpg
Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Pinophyta
Subphylum: Euphyllophytina
Infraphylum: Radiatopses
(unranked): Pinopsida
Subclass: Pinidae
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Species: P. palustris
Binomial name
Pinus palustris
File:Pinus palustris range map.png

Pinus australis F. Michx.
Pinus australis var. excelsa (Booth ex J. Forbes) Carrière
Pinus longifolia Salisb.
Pinus palustris var. excelsa Booth ex J. Forbes
Pinus palustris subsp. neogigantea Silba

Pinus palustris, commonly known as the longleaf pine, is a pine native to the southeastern United States, found along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia, extending into northern and central Florida.[2] It reaches a height of 30–35 m (98–115 ft) and a diameter of 0.7 m (28 in). In the past, they reportedly grew to 47 m (154 ft) with a diameter of 1.2 m (47 in).Template:clarify The bark is thick, reddish-brown, and scaly. The leaves are dark green and needle-like, and occur in bundles of three. They often are twisted and 20–45 cm (7.9–17.7 in) in length. It is one of the two southeastern U.S. pines with long needles, the other being slash pine.

Longleaf pine needles from a 30 m specimen near Tallahassee, Florida

The cones, both female seed cones (ovulate strobili) and male pollen cones (staminate strobili), are initiated during the growing season before buds emerge. Pollen cones begin forming in their buds in July, while seed conelets are formed during a relatively short period of time in August. Pollination occurs early the following spring, with the male cones 3–8 cm (1.2–3.1 in) long. The female (seed) cones mature in about twenty months from pollination; when mature they are yellow-brown in color, 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) long, and 5–7 cm (2.0–2.8 in) broad, opening to 12 cm (4.7 in), and have a small, but sharp, downward-pointing spine on the middle of each scale. The seeds are 7–9 mm (0.28–0.35 in) long, with a 25–40 mm (0.98–1.57 in) wing. Longleaf pine takes 100 to 150 years to become full size and may live to be 500 years old. When young, they grow a long taproot, which usually is 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) long; by maturity they have a wide spreading lateral root system with several deep 'sinker' roots. It grows on well-drained, usually sandy soil, often in pure stands. In northern Alabama, it sometimes occurs on clay soil. The scientific name meaning, "of marshes," is a misunderstanding on the part of Philip Miller who described the species, after seeing longleaf pine forests with temporary winter flooding. Longleaf pine also is known as being one of several species grouped as a southern yellow pine[3] or longleaf yellow pine, and in the past as pitch pine (a name dropped as it caused confusion with pitch pine, Pinus rigida).


This herb is a source of valuable timber, turpentine, resins and wood pulp. It is used in the manufacturing of varnishes, inks, waxes, seals and lubricants, as well as kraft paper and paperboard.

Did you know?

  • Pinus palustris is fire successional, with a deep taproot and a definite grass stage. It is a valued species for lumber and pulpwood and was once important for naval stores (e.g., turpentine, pine oil, tar, pitch). It is fast disappearing over much of its natural range, partly through overharvesting but especially because of difficulties in adapting it to current plantation and management techniques. [1]
  • Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) is the state tree of North Carolina. [2]

Vernacular Names

  • Catalan, Valencian: Pi melis
  • Chinese: Chang Ye Song · 长叶松 · 长叶松 (chang ye song) · 长叶松 (chang ye song)
  • Dutch: Moerasden
  • Eng: Florida pine · Georgia pine · Longleaf pine
  • English: Florida pine · Georgia Pine · Long leaf pine · Long-Coned Pine · Long-Needled Pine · Longleaf Pine · Longleaf Yellow Pine · Pitch Pine · Southern Pine · Southern Yellow Pine
  • Estonian: Pikaokkaline mänd
  • Fre: pin des marais
  • French: Pin des marais · Pitchpin Du Sud
  • Ger: Sumpf-Kiefer
  • German: Sumpf Kiefer · Sumpfkiefer
  • Hrv, Srp: dugoiglicasti bor
  • Hun: Floridai hosszútus fenyo
  • Hungarian: Floridai hosszútus fenyo
  • Ita: Pino giallo
  • Italian: Pino giallo
  • Japanese: Daiou Matsu · Daiou Shyou · ダイオウマツ
  • Lithuanian: Pelkinė pušis
  • Norwegian: Sumpfuru
  • Polish: Sosna Botna · Sosna długoigielna
  • Russian: Sosna Bolotnaia · сосна болотная (sosna bolotnaya)
  • Spa: madera pino
  • Spanish: Pino Del Sur · Pino Palustre · Pino Pantaro · Pino Tea
  • Spanish, Castilian: madera pino


Trees to 47m; trunk to 1.2m diam., straight; crown rounded. Bark orange-brown, with coarse, rectangular, scaly plates. Branches spreading-descending, upcurved at tips; twigs stout (to 2cm thick), orange-brown, aging darker brown, rough. Buds ovoid, silvery white, 3--4cm; scales narrow, margins fringed. Leaves (2) --3 per fascicle, spreading-recurved, persisting 2 years, 20--45cm ´ ca. 1.5mm, slightly twisted, lustrous yellow-green, all surfaces with fine stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex abruptly acute to acuminate; sheath 2--2.5(--3) cm, base persistent. Pollen cones cylindric, 30--80mm, purplish. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, quickly shedding seeds and falling, solitary or paired toward branchlet tips, symmetric, lanceoloid before opening, ovoid-cylindric when open, 15--25cm, dull brown, sessile (rarely short-stalked) ; apophyses dull, slightly thickened, slightly raised, nearly rhombic, strongly cross-keeled; umbo central, broadly triangular, with short, stiff, reflexed prickle. Seeds truncate-obovoid; body ca. 10mm, pale brown, mottled darker; wing 30--40mm. 2 n =24. <a href="http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200005348" target="_blank">[source]</a>


  • Color Flower Color: inconspicuous;.
  • Flowers Bloom Period: n/a;.
  • Foliage Duration: perennial;.
  • Habit Habit: tree.
  • Propagation Culture: space 12-15' apart;.
  • Size Size: over 40' tall.
  • Soil Minimum pH: 51; Maximum pH: 75;.
  • Sun Sun Exposure: sun to partial shade.
  • Temperature Cold Hardiness: 7a.
  • Miscellaneous Size: over 40' tall.

Habitat and Ecology


1.4. Forest - Temperate.[4]

Longleaf pine: 'grass stage' seedling, near Georgetown, South Carolina

Longleaf pine is highly pyrophytic (resistant to wildfire). Periodic natural wildfire selects for this species by killing other trees, leading to open longleaf pine forests or savannas. New seedlings do not appear at all tree-like and resemble a dark green fountain of needles. This form is called the grass stage. During this stage, which lasts for 5–12 years, vertical growth is very slow, and the tree may take a number of years simply to grow ankle-high. After that it makes a growth spurt, especially if there is no tree canopy above it. In the grass stage, it is very resistant to grass fires, which burn off the ends of the needles, but the fire cannot penetrate the tightly-packed needle bases to reach the bud. While relatively immune to fire, at this stage, the plant is quite appealing to feral pigs, and the early settlers' habit of releasing swine into the woodlands to feed was greatly responsib le for the decline of the species. Longleaf pine forests are rich in biodiversity. They are well-documented for their high levels of plant diversity, in groups including sedges, grasses, carnivorous plants and orchids.[5][6] These forests also provide habitat for gopher tortoises, which, as keystone species, dig burrows that provide habitat for hundreds of other species of animals. The red-cockaded woodpecker is dependent on mature pine forests and is now endangered as a result of this decline. Longleaf pine seeds are large and nutritious, forming a significant food source for birds (notably the brown-headed nuthatch) and other wildlife. There are 9 salamander species and 26 frog species that are characteristic of pine savannas, along with 56 species of reptiles, 13 of which could be considered specialists on this habitat.[7] The Red Hills Region of Florida and Georgia is home to some of the best preserved stands of longleaf pine. These forests have been burned regularly for many decades to encourage bobwhite quail habitat in private hunting plantations.


Name Status

Name status: accepted name.
Latest taxonomic scrutiny: Farjon A.
Source: Conifer Database, Jan 2014


  • Range Description:Recorded from the southeastern USA, from Virginia to eastern Texas in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.
  • Native: United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia)[8]
  • Reported here: Antarctica, Canada:British Columbia, China, Cuba, India, United States.
  • Reported here: 77 TEX 78 ALA FLA GEO LOU MSI NCA SCA VRG; SE USA, from Virginia to E Texas in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.
  • Population: The total population is still large but is decreasing and has become severely fragmented.[9]
  • Population Trend: Decreasing

Map showing distribution of observations of Pinus palustris.



To explore 260 photos of Pinus palustris, click here.


IUCN Assessment:

  • Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cde ver 3.1
  • Year Published: 2013
  • Date Assessed: 2011-04-07
  • Assessor (s): Farjon, A.
  • Reviewer(s): Stritch, L. & Thomas, P.
  • Justification:
    Outside protected areas the tendency through exploitation and planting or seeding of other pine species to replace this species is still ongoing, albeit at a lower rate than previously. Calculated over the whole of the historical period of logging in eastern USA this species would qualify for Critically Endangered, but with an estimate of 30 years generation length the time frame used here is more likely to place it as Endangered. The decline has also slowed down, but has not ceased.
  • History:
  • 1998 – Vulnerable[10]
  • Threats: 2. Agriculture & aquaculture ⇨ 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops ⇨ 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming timing: Ongoing scope: Minority (<50%) severity: Slow, Significant Declines[11]
  • IUCN Conservation Actions: 2.1. Site/area management, 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration, 3.1. Species management ⇨ 3.1.1. Harvest management, 3.1.1. Harvest management.[12]

Heritage Status: G5

More Information


  • Catalog of Life Identifier: 2eab93218d18f811c1173a9506759c48
  • GBIF: TaxonID: 5285816 TaxonKey: 14706360
  • Heritage Identifier: PGPIN040R0
  • ITIS: 18038
  • IUCN ID: 39068
  • Namebank ID: 2645035
  • SP2000 Accepted Name Code: Con-3079
  • USDA Symbol: PIAU3
  • ZipcodeZoo CritterID: 55584


  1. {{IUCN | id=39068| taxon=Pinus palustris| assessors=Farjon, A.| assessment_year=2011| version=3.1| accessdate=2013-11-10
  2. "Longleaf Pine Range Map" (PDF). The Longleaf Alliance. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  3. Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). "National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America". New York: Sterling. p. 75. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 
  4. Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 22 March 2015.
  5. Peet, R. K. and D. J Allard. 1993. Longleaf pine vegetation of the southern Atlantic and eastern Gulf coast regions: a preliminary classification. pp. 45–81. In S. M. Hermann (ed.) Proceedings of the Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference. No. 18. The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem: Ecology, Restoration, and Management. Florida: Tall Timbers Research Station.
  6. Keddy, P.A., L. Smith, D.R. Campbell, M. Clark and G. Montz. 2006. Patterns of herbaceous plant diversity in southeastern Louisiana pine savannas. Applied Vegetation Science 9:17-26.
  7. Means, D. Bruce. 2006. Vertebrate faunal diversity in longleaf pine savannas. Pages 155-213 in S. Jose, E. Jokela and D. Miller (eds.) Longleaf Pine Ecosystems: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Springer, New York. xii + 438 pp.
  8. Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 22 March 2015.
  9. Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 22 March 2015.
  10. Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 22 March 2015.
  11. Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 22 March 2015.
  12. Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded 22 March 2015.


  • Burns, R.M. and Honkala, B.H. 1990. iSilvics of North America/i. USDA, Forest Service, Washington, DC.
  • Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008) In Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK. Available at: http://www.catalogueoflife.org/.
  • Farjon, A. 2010. iA Handbook of the World's Conifers/i. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Gilliam, F.S. and Platt, W.J. 2006. Conservation and restoration of the iPinus palustris/i ecosystem. iApplied Vegetation Science/i 9: 7-10.
  • IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at:IUCNRedList.org (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Further Reading


  • Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed March 27, 2012.
  • Conifer Specialist Group 1998. iPinus palustris/i. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloadedon 04February2012.
  • IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Downloaded on January 28, 2012.

Page Notes