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Calabrian Pine Pinus nigra

Previously known as:

  • Pinus laricio var. nigra
Phonetic Spelling
PI-nus NI-gra
Description

The Austrian Pine is a medium to large-sized evergreen conifer that grows 40 to 60 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide. It has a pyramidal habit when young, but as the tree ages, the crown rounds and forms a dome shape. This ornamental tree has stiff dark green needles that occur in bundles of two. The cones are pointed directly out and away from the stem and are oval and brown at maturity. The bark of the tree is dark brown to black, furrowed, and plate-like. The branches are stout and spreading, and the trunk is straight.

This tree is native to central and southern Europe and is a member of the Pinaceae or pine family.

The genus name, Pinus, is the Latin word for pine. The epithet, nigra, means black and references the bark. 

The Austrian pine prefers full sun, moist, well-drained soils, and is adaptable to different soil types. It is easy to transplant and tolerates clay soils, urban pollution, salt, and drought once established.

The Austrian pine may be used as a specimen, screen, or windbreak. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • straight trunk, stout branches
  • dark brown to black, furrowed bark
  • needles in bundles of two, stiff, rigid, sharply pointed
  • cones in groups of 2 to 4 and point out away from the stem

Insect, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  The Austrian pine is susceptible to Sphaeropsis (Diplodia) tip blight and Dothistroma needle blight.  Potential insect pests include aphids, adelgids, bark beetle bore, sawfly larvae caterpillars, sawflies, pine needle miner larvae, pine needle scale, pine spittlebugs, spruce mites, Zimmerman pine moth, and pine wilt nematode.

VIDEO created by Ryan Contreras for “Landscape Plant Materials I:  Deciduous Hardwoods and Conifers or Landscape Plant Materials II:  Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University

 

 

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Arnold Sentinel'
    Columnar habit
  • 'Aurea'
    variegated
  • 'Black Prince'
    dwarf shrub form
  • 'Compacta'
    compact habit
  • 'Globosa'
    Dwarf habit
  • 'Hornibrookiana' Pinus nigra 'Hornibrookiana'
    Dwarf, 2' tall, 4'-6' wide
  • 'Monstrosa'
  • 'Moseri'
    golden yellow needles during the winter
'Arnold Sentinel', 'Aurea', 'Black Prince', 'Compacta', 'Globosa', 'Hornibrookiana', 'Monstrosa', 'Moseri'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#conifer#salt tolerant#windbreak#needled evergreen#deer resistant#nighttime garden#children's garden#playground plant#screening#larval host plant#urban conditions tolerant#wind damage prone#imperial moth#coastal plant#landscape plant sleuths course#cone#wildlife friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Arnold Sentinel'
    Columnar habit
  • 'Aurea'
    variegated
  • 'Black Prince'
    dwarf shrub form
  • 'Compacta'
    compact habit
  • 'Globosa'
    Dwarf habit
  • 'Hornibrookiana' Pinus nigra 'Hornibrookiana'
    Dwarf, 2' tall, 4'-6' wide
  • 'Monstrosa'
  • 'Moseri'
    golden yellow needles during the winter
'Arnold Sentinel', 'Aurea', 'Black Prince', 'Compacta', 'Globosa', 'Hornibrookiana', 'Monstrosa', 'Moseri'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#conifer#salt tolerant#windbreak#needled evergreen#deer resistant#nighttime garden#children's garden#playground plant#screening#larval host plant#urban conditions tolerant#wind damage prone#imperial moth#coastal plant#landscape plant sleuths course#cone#wildlife friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pinus
    Species:
    nigra
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean , Eastern Austria to Northern Caucasus
    Distribution:
    Native: Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, North Caucasus, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Distribution: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, New South Wales, Norway, Poland, South Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Victoria, and the United States--IL and NY.
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed.
    Play Value:
    Screening
    Wind Break
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Dense
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Mounding
    Pyramidal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an oval, hard, brown cone, and initially, measures 0.5 inches long. At maturity, the cone is 2.5 to 3 inches long with blunt, short spine scales. They mature in the fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Insignificant
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    There are separate male and female cones on the same tree. The male cones are yellow, long, cylinder-shaped, and measure 0.5 to 0.75 inches long. They are in dense clusters at the base of young branchlets or candles. The female strobili appear at the tip of the candle. It is small, oval, and purplish. They bloom from late April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Shape:
    Filiform
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are needles that are 3 to 6 inches long and appear in bundles of two. They are stiff, rigid, sharply pointed, and dark bluish-green. They are mostly straight but may appear slightly twisted. The needles are retained for up to 4 years.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    The bark is dark gray to black and has flat vertical ridges and furrows.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Young stems are greenish-brown and smooth, but they have tangled, flat hairs at the needle site. With age, the stems become scaly and grayish brown. The buds are 1-inch long, pointed, and conical with reddish-brown scales.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Salt