Austrian pine

(Picea mariana)



Pinus nigra, the Austrian pine or black pine, is a moderately variable species of pine, occurring across Southern Europe from the Iberian Peninsula to the eastern Mediterranean, on the Anatolian peninsula of Turkey, Corsica and Cyprus, as well as Crimea and in the high mountains of Northwest Africa. Pinus nigra is a tree of the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. The majority of the range is in Turkey. It is found in the higher elevations of the South Apennine mixed montane forests ecoregion in southern Italy and the Tyrrhenian-Adriatic sclerophyllous and mixed forests ecoregion in Sicily. There are remnant populations in the Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests ecoregion, and in the higher Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria. It is found at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), most commonly from 250–1,600 metres (820–5,250 ft). Several of the varieties have distinct English names. It has naturalized in parts of the midwestern states of the U.S, normally south of the normal native ranges of native pines. Pinus nigra is a large coniferous evergreen tree, growing to 20–55 metres (66–180 ft) high at maturity and spreading to 20 to 40 feet wide. The bark is grey to yellow-brown, and is widely split by flaking fissures into scaly plates, becoming increasingly fissured with age. The leaves ("needles") are thinner and more flexible in western populations. The ovulate and pollen cones appear from May to June. The mature seed cones are 5–10 cm (rarely to 11 cm) long, with rounded scales; they ripen from green to pale grey-buff or yellow-buff in September to November, about 18 months after pollination. The seeds are dark grey, 6–8 mm long, with a yellow-buff wing 20–25 mm long; they are wind-dispersed when the cones open from December to April. maturity is reached at 15–40 years; large seed crops are produced at 2–5 year intervals. The species is divided into two subspecies, each further subdivided into three varieties. Some authorities (e.g. Flora Europaea) treat several of the varieties at subspecific rank, but this reflects tradition rather than sound taxonomy, as the distinctions between the taxa are small.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
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