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Stone pine male cone

Pinus pinea


Pines are mostly monoecious, having the male and female cones on the same tree. Stone Pine grows to 12–20 metres in height, and can exceed 25 metres height. In maturity it has a thick trunk and a broad and flat crown 40–60 metres in width. The leaves are needle-like, in bundles of two, and are 10–20 centimetres long. The (female) cones are broad, ovoid, 8–15 centimetres long, and take 36 months to mature, longer than any other pine. The seeds (pine nuts, piñones) are large, 2 centimetres long, and pale brown with a powdery black coating that rubs off easily, and have a rudimentary 4–8 millimetres wing that falls off very easily. The wing is ineffective for wind dispersal, and the seeds are animal-dispersed, originally mainly by the azure-winged magpie, but in recent history, very largely by humans.


Mediterranean countries. Spotted in a village park


Stone pines have been used and cultivated for their edible pine nuts since prehistoric times. They are widespread in horticultural cultivation as ornamental trees, planted in gardens and parks around the world.

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Spotted by

Extremadura, Spain

Spotted on Apr 5, 2012
Submitted on May 18, 2012

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