Jerusalem pine

(Pinus halepensis)



Pinus halepensis, commonly known as the Aleppo pine, also known as the Jerusalem pine, is a pine native to the Mediterranean region. Its range extends from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Spain north to southern France, Malta, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania, and east to Greece. There is an outlying population (from which it was first described) in Syria, Lebanon, southern Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. Pinus halepensis is a small to medium-sized tree, 15–25 m (49–82 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter up to 60 cm (24 in), exceptionally up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in). The bark is orange-red, thick, and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk, and thin and flaky in the upper crown. The leaves ("needles") are very slender, 6–12 cm (2.4–4.7 in) long, distinctly yellowish green, and produced in pairs (rarely a few in threes). The cones are narrow conic, 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 in) long and 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) broad at the base when closed, green at first, ripening glossy red-brown when 24 months old. They open slowly over the next few years, a process quickened if they are exposed to heat such as in forest fires. The cones open 5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) wide to allow the seeds to disperse. The seeds are 5–6 mm (0.20–0.24 in) long, with a 20-mm wing, and are wind-dispersed. Pinus halepensis is generally found at low altitudes, mostly from sea level to 200 m (660 ft), but can grow above 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in southern and eastern Spain, well over 1,200 m (3,900 ft) on Crete, and up to 1,700 m (5,600 ft) in the south, in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The tree is able to quickly colonize open and disturbed areas. It is classed as an invasive species in South Africa. It can grow on all substrates and almost in all bioclimates in the Mediterranean. Pinus halepensis is a diagnostic species of the vegetation class Pinetea halepensis.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
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