Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)

 Educational Story

The Longleaf Pine, Pinus palustris, is native to North America and the southeastern coastal plain, west to Texas and north to Virginia, and was once a dominant species throughout this region. Longleaf pines can live for more than 600 years and have evolved to thrive in fire dependent ecosystems. The Longleaf pine ecosystem is rich in biodiversity and supports valuable habitat for many species of animals including the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Eastern indigo snake, gopher tortoise, and the flatwoods salamander. Longleaf pines grow slowly and can reach more than 100 feet tall. Their needles are clustered in groups of three, about 18 inches long and the new growth of the terminal tips (buds) of their branches are silvery-white, called the ‘candle’. The tree’s pine cones can grow up to 11 inches and are sessile to the tree’s branches. Old growth forests of long leaf pine have been depleted over the past two centuries due to land development. Early uses were for producing turpentine and resin for the ship building industry, and more recently for their valuable lumber and pulp.

3D AR & VR Model

Gardening Facts

Scientific Name: Pinus palustris
Common Name:  Longleaf Pine
Description of facts and concepts: Longleaf pine dominated ecosystems once covered over 90 million acres throughout the southeastern coastal plain. Only about 3% of longleaf pine forests remain.
Seed or division information: Seeds fall from cones and start to germinate about a week after.
Date of flower’s bloom (Month and week): December- January
Ecoregion:  Mesic Flatwoods
Color of Flower:  Males: yellow-red. Females: purple
Height:  Can reach over 100 feet
Spread:  Up to 50″ in diameter
Family:  Pinaceae
Soil Type: Base to Acidic  Acidic
Soil: Dry to Wet  Dry to wet
Light: Sun to Shade  Sun
Zone  7B-9B