Bog pine

(Pinus mugo)



Pinus mugo, known as bog pine, creeping pine, dwarf mountain pine, mugo pine, mountain pine, scrub mountain pine, or Swiss mountain pine, is a species of conifer, native to high elevation habitats from southwestern to Central Europe and Southeast Europe. Pinus mugo is native to the subalpine zones of the Pyrenees, Alps, Erzgebirge, Carpathians, northern and central Apennines, and higher Balkan Peninsula mountains - Rila, Pirin, Korab, Accursed Mountains, etc. It is usually found from 1,000–2,200 m (3,281–7,218 ft), occasionally as low as 200 m (656 ft) in the north of the range in Germany and Poland, and as high as 2,700 m (8,858 ft) in the south of the range in Bulgaria and the Pyrenees. Also in Kosovo it is found in the Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park. In Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltic region, Pinus mugo was introduced in the late 1700s and 1800s where it was planted in coastal regions for sand dune stabilization, and later as ornamental plants around residences. In Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the species has naturalised and become invasive, displacing fragile dune and dune heath habitats. In Estonia and Lithuania pinus mugo only occasionally naturalises outside plantations, sometimes establishing in raised bogs. There are three subspecies: Pinus mugo subsp. mugo — in the east and south of the range (southern & eastern Alps, Balkan Peninsula), a low, shrubby, often multi-stemmed plant to 3–6 m (10–20 ft) tall with symmetrical cones. Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata — in the west and north of the range (from the Pyrenees northeast to Poland), a larger, usually single-stemmed tree to 20 m (66 ft) tall with asymmetrical cones (the scales are much thicker on one side of the cone than the other). Some botanists treat the western subspecies as a separate species, Pinus uncinata, others as only a variety, Pinus mugo var. rostrata. This subspecies in the Pyrenees marks the alpine tree line or timberline, the edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing. Pinus mugo subsp. rotundata — hybrid subspecies, of the two subspecies above that intergrade extensively in the western Alps and northern Carpathians. Both subspecies have similar foliage, with dark green leaves ("needles") in pairs, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day