Italian Stone Pine


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Italian Stone Pine

 

(Pinus pinea), an evergreen tree of the family Pinaceae. The Italian stone pine is 15 to 25 m tall. Its flat-topped and umbrellalike head forms high up on the trunk, and its reddish bark is deeply fissured. The buds are nonresinous and have long-fringed scales along the margins. The needles measure 10 to 20 cm long and are dark green, rough, and sharp. They are in fascicles of two at the ends of the branches. The needles fall in the second or third year. The cones, which occur singly or, less frequently, in twos and threes at the apices of the shoots, are 10 to 15 cm long and 7 to 10 cm wide. They are broadly ovate or spherical, light brown, and shining; they mature in the third year. Their scales are woody and have a large five-or six-angled hemispherical umbo. The edible seeds are 1.8 to 2 cm long and elongate-obovate; they have a thick, brownish red covering and sometimes a short, drooping wing.

The Italian stone pine is drought resistant. It grows in the Mediterranean region, from the maritime belt to an elevation of 1,000 m in the mountains. On the Iberian Peninsula and in Asia Minor, the tree is encountered at elevations of 400 to 600 m. It is cultivated all along the Mediterranean for its seeds and as an ornamental. In the USSR the Italian stone pine is cultivated on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea and the Caucasus. The light, sturdy wood is used in construction and for the manufacture of wooden articles.

REFERENCE

Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1, Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.

T. G. LEONOVA

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