Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Pinus serotina Michx.
- Family: Pine (Pinaceae)
- Pollen Shed: April
- Field Marks: The needles of this pine are mostly in groups of 3 and vary from 3 to 8 inches
long. This species differs from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) by its shorter cones up to 3 1/2 inches
- Habitat: Acid swamps, shallow ponds, boggy depressions in pinelands, flatwoods.
- Habit: Tree up to 75 feet tall; trunk diameter up to 2 feet.
- Bark: Breaking into narrow plates.
- Twigs: Rather stout, roughened by the persistent scale leaves; winter buds reddish brown, up to 1/4
inch in diameter.
- Leaves: Needles mostly in clusters of 3's, less commonly in 2's or 4's, flexible, 3-8 inches long.
- Male Cones: Greenish yellow to rose-tinged, up to 1 3/4 inches long, up to 1/3 inch in
- Female Cones: Dark brown, 2-3 inches long, with a sharp prickle on the scale.
- Notes: If the foliage of this tree has been killed by fire, it will resprout needles from the trunk and
limbs. The cones are readily opened by fire and persist on the tree for long periods of time. This is the
most water-tolerant of all of the southern pines.
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