Pinus echinata

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Common names: shortleaf pine,[1] rosemary pine, yellow pine[2]

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: Pinus mitis Michaux[2]

Varieties: none[2]


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 deciduous woods [5]

Pinus echinata is frequent and abundant in the Clayhill Longleaf Woodlands community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[6]


P. echinata has been observed flowering in March.[7]

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

Fire ecology

P. echinata has an extremely high tolerance for fire[1] as evidenced by populations known to persist through repeated annual burns.[8][9][10] Instances of fire or prescribed burning will promote regeneration of the shortleaf pine.[11]. Continued prescribed burning in a region can make for ideal habitats for shortleaf pine forests instead of hardwoods being predominate in the region.[12]

Herbivory and toxicology

Pinus echinata has been observed to host plant bugs from the Miridae family such as Phoenicocoris rostratus, P. heidemanni, P. laetus, and P. tibialis.[13] 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.[14]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Pinus echinata is considered endangered in Illinois[1]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  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. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  7. 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
  8. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  9. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  10. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  11. 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.
  12. Garren, K. H. (1943). "Effects of fire on vegetation of the southeastern United States." Botanical Review 9(9): 617-654.
  13. [1]
  14. The Role of Fire in Nongame Wildlife Management and Community Restoration: Traditional Uses and New Directions, Proceedings of a Special Workshop, 2000