Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stone Pine

I made brief mention of stone pine (Pinus pinea) in my earlier post of the Parc del Clot. Though it deserves greater mention in a post of its own.

Stone pine is native to northern Morocco but has been naturalized in the Mediterranean region for so long, many mistake it as indigenous. It's easily recognizable in such climates due to its long needles (in fascicles of two), orangey and plate-like bark and, most of all, it's striking habit.

A quick image search on google will reinforce the fact that this tree has a very consistent form - they branch high and have a flat-topped habit.

Above, a stone pine at the Getty Center.

Now the really tasty part: the stone pine is the tree that brings us the pine nut. So without this wonderful tree, we'd be without pesto and pignoli cookies. The tree's culinary value largely accounts for its cultivation beyond its native range.


Anonymous said...

Visiting Hilton Head Island and just discovered that Sir William Hilton fell upon the Island when he saw the tall pines from the sea. This was in 1663. There are a lot of palmetto palms and large Oak trees. Does the Spanish moss attach like a parasite or is it part of the tree. It is everywhere.

Sally said...

Pine nuts. When we were in Italy the Pine trees there are abundant with pine nuts.