Pinus pinaster facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Pinus pinaster
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Pinus
Species: P. pinaster
Binomial name
Pinus pinaster
Aiton
Distribution map

Pinus pinaster, the maritime pine or cluster pine, is a pine native to Mediterranean region.

Names

The tree is known in English as maritime pine, cluster pine or pinaster pine.

Common names in some other languages are:

Description

The maritine pine is a relatively large tree tree, that grows up to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) tall with an average trunk diameter of up to 35–40 cm (14–16 in). The bark is orange-red and thick, somewhat thinner in the upper parts of the tree.

The leaves ('needles') are in pairs, broad and 10 to 35 cm (3.9 to 13.8 in) long, and bluish-green to yellowish-green.

The maritine pine is monoecious with separate male an female flowers but in the same plant, in cones. The seeds are 8–10 mm (0.31–0.39 in) long, with a 20–25 mm (0.79–0.98 in) wing. Seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Taxonomy

Pinus pinaster was described by William Aiton, a Botanist from Scotland, in 1789.

There are three subspecies of Pinus pinaster Aiton:

  1. P. pinaster subsp. pinaster, the typical subspecies, is found in France, Spain and Portugal.
  2. Pinus pinaster subsp. escarena (Risso) K. Richt found on the western Mediterranean coast, mainly in Spain.
  3. P. pinaster subsp. renoui (Villar) Maire is found on the African Mediterranean coast, mainly in Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains.

Where it grows

The maritine pine is native to the southwest and southern Europe and in North Africa in Morocco, and along the border between Algeria and Tunisia. It is mainly a pine of low, coastal plains, usually on sandy soils of sea shore dunes; however, in Morocco this species can grow in mountains to an elevation of near 2,000 m (6,600 ft).

It has been introduced into regions with a similar Mediterranean climate.

The species is regarded as a highly invasive species. A large production of seeds that are dispersed by the wind and rapid growth rate all contribute to its ability to invade native habitats, which suffer a consequent reduction in species diversity. The maritine pine is reported to be an aggressive colonizer in Chile, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

Uses

The maritine pine is widely planted for timber in its native area, being one of the most important trees in forestry in France, Spain and Portugal. The pine forest in Landes in southwest France is the largest man-made maritime pine forest in Europe. The resin is also a useful source of turpentine and rosin.

In addition to industrial uses, maritime pine is also a popular ornamental tree, often planted in parks and gardens in areas with warm temperate climates.

It is also used as a source of flavonoids, catechins, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids.

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Pinus pinaster Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.