Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Pinus rigida Mill.
- Family: Pine (Pinaceae)
- Fruits: Autumn
- Field Marks: The distingishing features of this pine are the spine-tipped scales of the female cones and the stiff needles in clusters of 3's and up to 8 inches long.
- Habitat: Usually dry, often barren soil, abandoned fields.
- Habit: Tree to 90 feet tall, with a trunk diameter up to 3 feet in diameter; bark red-brown to dark brown, scaly at first, becoming deeply fissured into elongated plates.
- Twigs: Brown, finely hairy when young, becoming smooth at maturity, the lower ones often drooping; buds ovoid, brown.
- Leaves: Needles in clusters of 3's, stiff, twisted, tapering to a sharp point, yellow-green or sometimes glaucous, up to 8 inches long.
- Reproductive Structures: Male cones crowded into several clusters, yellowish, up to 2 1/4 inches long; female cones yellow at first, soon becoming darker.
- Fruits: Cones woody, oblongoid to ovoid, up to 6 inches long, the scales ending in a sharp spine; seeds brown with blackish mottling, up to 1/3 inch long, with wings about 2-3 times as long.
- Notes: The wood is used for pulp and in general construction. The cones persist on the tree for about one year after shedding their seeds.
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