Pinus virginiana

Virginia Pine, Scrub Pine

Pinaceae

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Habitat

  • native to the east-central coast of the United States
  • cold hardy to zone 5

Habit and Form

  • evergreen tree
  • broadly pyramidal in shape when young, more flat-topped and irregular with age
  • varies in size from 10' to 50' tall with a slightly smaller spread
  • fine to medium texture
  • slow growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • serrated, pointed needles
  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • needles have a slight twist
  • needles roughly 3" long
  • dark green

Autumn Foliage

  • no fall color (evergreen)
  • needles turn yellow-green in winter
  • needles persist 4 years

Flowers

  • monoecious
  • no ornamental value

Fruit

  • dark brown or reddish brown cone; shiny
  • conical in shape
  • held alone or in clusters of 2 to 4
  • persist after maturing
  • mature after 2 years
  • cones have a thorn-like attachment, which is quite sharp

Bark

  • reddish brown
  • generally smooth, but eventually develops scales and plates
  • new stems are slender with a purplish tint

Culture

  • prefers a dry, deep, loam soil
  • adaptable to poor soils
  • low salt tolerance
  • full sun
  • needs little pruning

Landscape Uses

  • bonsai
  • used as a Christmas tree in southeastern United States
  • highway medians
  • buffer zones

Liabilities

  • sharp cones and pointed needles
  • weak crotch angles
  • easily damaged by mechanical impact (soil compaction, string trimmers)
  • susceptible to pitch canker, pine sawflies, and Ips beetles

ID Features

  • purplish new growth
  • needles in 2's and sharp
  • cones have a sharp attachment

Propagation

  • seed; stratification improves germination

Cultivars/Varieties

'Wate's Golden' - The only commonly available cultivar is this yellow-foliaged novelty. The yellow is brilliant in winter, muting to green in summer.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.