Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont

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

Pinus virginiana P. Mill. Virginia pine, Jersey pine, poverty pine, scrub pine. Family Pinaceae. ITIS Taxonomic Serial Number 183394. USDA PLANTS Symbol PIVI2. TROPICOS # 24900223.

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

Detailed Description:

Plant habit and life style. Plants Gymnosperms, monoecious, (5–)10–20(–30) m tall.

Stems. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) green or purple or red or reddish-brown, 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, reddish-brown, (6–)8–10(–12) mm long, cylindric or fusiform or ovoid or ovoid-cylindric, sharp, glabrous or pubescent, ciliate, bud scales imbricate.

Leaves. Leaves evergreen, needle-like, simple, sessile, fascicled, spreading or ascending, needles 2 per cluster or fascicle, 2–8 cm long, 0.1–0.12(–0.15) cm wide, acicular, leaf margins entire or serrulate, leaf apices acute, leaf bases attenuate, leaf cross section 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 March or April or May, (0.8–)1–2 cm long. Seed cone maturation 2 years. Seed cones persistent, axillary, sessile or nearly sessile or stalked, symmetric, before opening lanceoloid or lance-ovoid, when open conic or ovoid or ovoid-conic, 3–7(–8) cm long, immature seed cones green, mature seed cones gray or reddish-brown. Seed cone scales woody, armed. Seed cone armature persistent, curved or straight. Apophyses keeled.

Habitat. Habitat disturbed and weedy areas or dry-mesic upland forests or mixed forest edges or rock outcrops.

Special Diagnostic Characters. Needles typically twisted; buds very resinous (sometimes not resinous); bark plates without resin pockets; 3–4 year-old twigs smoothish to rough, but not flaking; trees tending to retain the lower branches, especially when growing in the open.

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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