E04: Stone Pine: Pinus pinea

The Stone pine is a Mediterranean pine commonly growing to 20 m. and forming a broad flat crown. The leaves are in pairs, the cones quite large and globose, 10 x 10 cm, and the bark has large plates, red brown with grey fissures. The seeds are  barely winged and are naturally bird dispersed. However the pine has been cultivated for at least 6,000 years for its edible seeds and has been dispersed by man beyond its natural range. The Via Appia was lined with Stone Pines and it has been planted for ornament by the Ottomans and then the Italians. Since the 1700’s the tree has been planted as an ornamental throughout the world and is regarded as an invasive in California and South Africa. It forms a good subject for bonsai and one year old plants are often used as Christmas table decorations.

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