Pinus echinata

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Common names: Shortleaf pine [1]

Pinus echinata
Pinus echinata SEF.jpg
Photo by John Gwaltney hosted at Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Species: P. echinata
Binomial name
Pinus echinata
Natural range of Pinus echinata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonym: P. mitis (michaux)

Variety: none


P. echinata is a perennial tree of the Pinaceae family that is native to North America. [1]


Native to the southeastern Unites States, p. echinata is found as far north as New York and as far west as Texas and Oklahoma. [1]



P. echinata has adapted to coarse, fina and medium textured soils. It has a medium drought tolerance. It has a high intolerance to shade.[1]

Ideal habitats include dry rocky ridges, slopes, sandhills, old fields, forests, and generally xeric sites but can occur in mesic to wet sites. [2]

Longleaf pine regions are ideal environments for the P. echinata of shortleaf pine, where they share a dominance over the area. [3] Much of these ecosystems thrive with winter burns, particularly in old-fields. [4]

Specimens of the shortleaf pine have been collected from mixed woodland, open pine-oak second growth woods, upland mixed woods along rivers, long-leaf pine restoration sites, and decisuous woods [5]


P. echinata has been observed flowering in March. [6]

Seedig begins in summer and will last through fall. [1]

Fire ecology

P. echinata has an extremely high tolerance for fire. [1]

Instances of fire or prescribed burning will promote regeneration of the shortleaf pine. [7]. COntinued prescribed burning in a region can make for ideal habitats for shortleaf pine forests instead of hardwoods being predominate in the region. [8] Shortleaf pines can provide habitats for the red-cockaded woodpecker; efforts at restoring the woodpeckers population in these environments include reintroduction of fire and constructing stands for the birds nesting. These prescribed burned shortleaf pine woods also provide a greater increase in small mammals in the region. [9]

Conservation and Management

Pinus echinata is considered endangered in Illinois[1]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 USDA Plant Database
  2. Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  3. Cipollini, M. L., et al. (2012). "Herbaceous plants and grasses in a mountain longleaf pine forest undergoing restoration: a survey and comparative study." Southeastern Naturalist 11: 637-668.
  4. Clewell, A. F. (2014). "Forest development 44 years after fire exclusion in formerly annually burned oldfield pine woodland, Florida." Castanea 79: 147-167.
  5. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: R.K. Godfrey, Richard S. Mitchell,Patricia Elliot, D. B. Ward, Loran C. Anderson, R. F. Doren, R. Komarek, William Platt. States and counties: Florida (Jackson, Okaloosa, Liberty, Leon, Jackson, Escambia, Gadsden, Santa Rosa, Madison, Wakulla, Grady), Georgia (Thomas)
  6. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  7. Elliott, K. J. and J. M. Vose (2005). "Effects of understory prescribed burning on shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.)/mixed-hardwood forests." Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 132: 236-251.
  8. Garren, K. H. (1943). "Effects of fire on vegetation of the southeastern United States." Botanical Review 9(9): 617-654.
  9. The Role of Fire in Nongame Wildlife Management and Community Restoration: Traditional Uses and New Directions, Proceedings of a Special Workshop, 2000