Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont

Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White

Pinus taeda L. Loblolly pine, old field pine, short leaf pine. Family Pinaceae. ITIS Taxonomic Serial Number 18037. USDA PLANTS Symbol PITA. TROPICOS # 24900221.

Images • Branchlet with needles. • Close-up of needles. • Close-up of buds. • Pollen cones. • Branchlet with seed cone. • Seed cones. • Herbarium sheet 1. • Herbarium sheet 2. • Herbarium sheet 3.

Detailed Description:

Plant habit and life style. Plants Gymnosperms, monoecious, (20–)25–40(–55) m tall.

Stems. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) brown or orange or yellow, (3–)5–8(–10) mm wide, glabrous. Twigs (2–4 years old) glabrous, scaly. Leaf scars absent, bundle scars absent, stipule scars absent, short shoots present or absent, short shoots bearing leaves. Bark of mature trunks flaky or furrowed or plated.

Buds. Buds axillary or terminal, bud clusters at ends of twigs present or absent, brown or reddish-brown, (6–)10–15(–20) mm long, lance-cylindric or oblong, sharp, glabrous or pubescent, ciliate, bud scales imbricate.

Leaves. Leaves evergreen, needle-like, simple, sessile, fascicled, spreading or ascending, needles (2–)3 per cluster or fascicle, (10–)12–23(–28) cm long, (0.07–)0.1–0.15(–0.2) cm wide, acicular, leaf margins entire or serrulate, leaf apices acuminate or acute, leaf bases attenuate, leaf cross section three-angled or semicircular. Leaf upper surface green or yellow-green, striped, glabrous. Leaf lower surface green or yellow-green, striped, glabrous. Stipules absent.

Cones. Pollen cones shedding pollen February or March or April, (1.5–)2–3(–5) cm long. Seed cone maturation 2 years. Seed cones semi-persistent or not persistent, axillary, sessile or nearly sessile, nearly symmetric or symmetric, before opening lance-cylindric or lanceoloid or ovoid-cylindric, when open conic or ovoid or ovoid-cylindric, (5–)6–12(–15) cm long, immature seed cones green, mature seed cones brown or gray or reddish-brown. Seed cone scales woody, armed. Seed cone armature persistent, curved or straight, strong. Apophyses smooth or wrinkled, keeled.

Habitat. Habitat bogs and seepages or bottomland forests or disturbed and weedy areas or dry-mesic upland forests or mesic upland forests or mixed forest edges or rock outcrops or suburban plantings.

Special Diagnostic Characters. Needles slightly twisted; buds not resinous (or only slightly so); bark plates rarely with resin pockets.

Cite this publication as: ‘Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White (2005 onwards). Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont: Identification, Descriptions, Illustrations, and Glossary. Version: March 7, 2006. <>’.

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