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KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyPinaceaePine family: cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces
GenusPinusLatin for “pine”

About plant names...

Pines (genus Pinus) are a genus of coniferous (cone-bearing) trees containing approximately 115 species, and found nearly everywhere in the northern hemisphere. They have been introduced to the southern hemisphere as well.

These tables compare pines that are currently in the database. Click the scientific name to display information on a particular species.


Pinus (Pine)

Pine (Pinus) · Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) · 4/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA

Pinus albicaulis

Pinus densiflora cv. Umbraculifera

Pinus edulis
Common Name

Whitebark Pine

Japanese Red Pine

Pinyon Pine
Plant Up to 69' (21 m) tall, trunk up to 5' (1.5 m) in diameter. Crown may be rounded, irregular, or contorted. Bark is pale gray, appearing whitish from a distance   Typically 10-20' (3-6.1 m) tall. Crown dense, conical or rounded
Flowers Pollen cones are bright red when in flower   Red-brown, inconspicuous
Leaves Needles are in groups of five, tending to curve upward, 1-2½" (3-7 cm) long × ¹/₃₂" (1.5 mm) wide, deep yellow-green   Typically two blue-green needles per group, sometimes 1 or 3. Upwardly curved, 1¼" (3.2 cm) long. Needles have 2 or 3 sides
Seeds Cones oval to roughly cylindrical, ⅜-½" (1-1.5 cm) long, bright red   Cones are oval to round, yellowish to red-brown, up to 1¼" (3.2 cm) around
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-5

USDA Zones: 3b-7a

USDA Zones: 3-8
Habitats Thin, rocky soils near or somewhat below the timberline   On dry mountain slopes and plateaus, at elevations of 4921-6890' (1.5-2.1 km), max 1.7 mi (2.7 km)
Type Wild Cultivar Wild
Occurrence ”Vulnerable”   Moderately common


Pinus jeffreyi

Pinus lambertiana

Pinus longaeva
Common Name

Jeffrey Pine

Sugar Pine

Bristlecone Pine
Plant 79-128' (24-39 m) in height, and 24-47" (60-120 cm) in diameter, rarely up to 50% larger. Bark is yellow brown to cinnamon-colored, with large scaly plates and deep furrows. Resin scent is similar to vanilla, lemon, pineapple, violets, apple, or butterscotch. 98-164' (30-50 m) tall, with a maximum of 246' (75 m). Trunk is 35-71" (90-180 cm) in diameter, with a maximum of 11' (3.3 m). The crown is a tall, narrow cone, becoming more rounded with age. Bark is red- to gray-brown Up to 52' (16 m) tall. Crown is rounded or often irregular due to winds. Because of extreme age and harsh conditions, portions of each tree are usually dead. Bark is bright orange-yellow
Flowers   Red-brown, inconspicuous Pale red-brown; inconspicuous
Leaves Needles are in groups of three, bluish-grayish-green or yellow-green in color. They are 4½-9" (12-23 cm) long. Needles occur in groups of five, each 1¾-4" (5-10 cm) × ~¹/₃₂" (1-1.5 mm). They are straight, pliable, and blue-green in color Usually needles are in groups of 5 (sometimes 3 or 4), curving upward, deep yellow green, and unusually short ½-1¼" (1.5-3.5 cm) × ¹/₃₂" (1 mm)
Seeds   Immature cones are up to 12" (30 cm) long × 1¼" (3.2 cm) around, tightly packed and almost smooth, purplish. Mature cones expand to up to 14" (35 cm) in length—longer than any other conifer Cones are 2-3½" (6-9.5 cm) long, purple when young, becoming red-brown. Each seed has a sharp thin thorn
Fruit Cones are 4½-9" (12-24 cm) in length, dark purple at first, becoming pale brown, with thin woody scales and sharp inward-pointing barbs.    
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 5-10

USDA Zones: 5-10
Habitats Above 4921' (1.5 km) Mixed conifer forests; over 80% is in California Mountainous regions, at and somewhat below the tree line, elevations of 1.1-2.1 mi (1.7-3.4 km)
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence   Fairly common Rare


Pinus nigra ‘Arnold Sentinel’

Pinus ponderosa

Pinus rigida
Common Name

Austrian Pine

Ponderosa Pine

Pitch Pine
Plant 20' (6.1 m) tall, and oval and narrow in shape. 60-130' (18-39 m) tall, with a max of 260' (79 m). Trunk 31-47" (80-120 cm) in diameter (max 8' (2.5 m)). Twigs are orange-brown, rough, and springy. Resin scent is odorless or similar to turpentine. Trees are often relatively small and oddly shaped, but can reach 80' (24 m). Bark is dark and scaly when the plant is young, becoming scaly, peelable plates that are light brown or red brown. Tufts of needles can occur on the trunk
Flowers Inconspicuous flowers occur for a short time in April or May. Male flowers are clusters of orange-yellow catkins, while female flowers are small yellow-green conelike structures. Red-brown, resinous Red to yellow, in clusters at twig tips
Leaves Needles are in clusters of two, 4" (10 cm) long, stiffer and denser than those of red pines. Needles occur in groups of 2-5, with three most common. Each needle is 2½-10" (7-25 cm) × ¹/₃₂" (1.5 mm), deep yellow-green, slightly twisted


Needles are 2½-5" (6.3-12 cm) long, in groups of 3, yellow-green or green, twisted
Seeds   Cones are about 4½" (11 cm) long, oval to cylindrical when immature, maturing to be more egg-shaped Cones are egg-shaped, 2-4" (5-10 cm) long, light brown or grayish in color. Each seed in the cone has a sharp thorny protuberance
Fruit Cones are up to 3" (7.6 cm) long, and pale brown or yellow brown in color.    
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 4

USDA Zones: 5-10

USDA Zones: 4-7
Habitats   Mostly mountainous regions, either alone or mixed with other pines Dry acidic sandly uplands to swampy lowlands; tolerates very poor soils
Type Cultivar Wild Wild
Occurrence   Common Common


Pinus strobus

Pinus taeda

Pinus torreyana
Common Name

Eastern White Pine

Loblolly Pine

Torrey Pine
Plant Typically 50-80' (15-24 m) high; up to 120' (36 m). Bark on younger trees is smooth and gray; on older trees it takes the form of gray or reddish rounded scales Trees are 60-90' (18-27 m) tall, with a typically straight trunk 16-59" (40-150 cm) in diameter. The bark on mature trees has furrows. Between 49-75' (15-23 m) tall, typically crooked and irregular. Bark is red-brown to purple-red, deeply furrowed
Flowers Males flowers yellow, female flowers light green Male flowers are groups of red to yellow cylinders at branch tips, each ½-1½" (1.3-3.8 cm) long. Inconspicuous


Needles are 3-5" (7.6-12 cm) long, in groups of 5. Blue-green needles are thinner (less than ¹/₃₂" (1 mm)) than those of other species of pines
Needles in groups of three, 4½-9" (12-22 cm) long.


Needles, usually five per group, typically 8-12" (20-30 cm) long × ¹/₁₆" (2 mm), dark green, sometimes slightly twisted


Cones are 5-10" (12-25 cm) long, oval or cylidrical in shape, up to 1½" (3.8 cm) wide

Pinus (Pine) 

Female cones are green to pale brown, conical, 2½-5" (7-13 cm) × ¾-1" (2-3 cm), with sharp spines ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-6 mm) long.


Heavy, oval-shaped, 4-6" (10-15 cm) long, yellow- to red-brown
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-7

USDA Zones: 8-10
Habitats Temperate climates, sandy soils, rocky highlands Regions with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Low coastal bluffs flanking the Soledad Valley in SanDiego county, California
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common Critically endangered


Online References:

Pinus at the Trees of Reed (Reed College)

Pinus on The Gymnosperm Database

Pinus on Wikipedia

Pinus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Pinus (Pine)

(Pinus) · Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida Mill.) · 9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 4½ × 3' (1.4 × 0.9 m) Species not yet identified