Mountain Pine

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Mountain Pine
Conservation status: Secure
Missing image
Pmugo.jpg



Foliage and cones of Mountain Pine
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Pinophyta
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Pinaceae
Genus:Pinus
Subgenus:Pinus
Species:P. mugo

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

Mountain Pine or Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo) is a high altitude European pine, found in the Pyrenees, Alps, Erzgebirge, Carpathians, northern Appennines and Balkan Peninsula mountains from (mostly) 1,000 m to 2,200 m, occasionally as low as 200 m in the north of the range in Germany and Poland, and as high as 2,700 m in the south of the range in Bulgaria.

There are two subspecies, typical 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 tall with symmetrical cones, and Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata in the west and north of the range (Pyrenees northeast to Poland), a larger, usually single-stemmed tree to 20 m tall with asymmetrical cones (the scales much thicker on one side of the cone than the other). The two subspecies intergrade extensively (hybrid subspecies rotundata) in the western Alps and northern Carpathians.

Some botanists treat the western subspecies as a separate species, Pinus uncinata, others as only a variety, Pinus mugo var. rostrata.

Both subspecies have similar foliage, with dark green leaves ('needles') in pairs, 3-7 cm long. The cones are nut-brown, 2.5-5.5 cm long, symmetrical, thin-scaled and matt texture in subsp. mugo, asymmetrical with thick scales on the upper side of the cone, thin on the lower side, and glossy, in subsp. uncinata.

The species is highly valued in horticulture, particularly the smaller subsp. mugo.

An old name for the species Pinus montana is still occasionally seen, and a typographical error "mugho" (first made in a prominent 18th century encyclopedia) is still repeated surprisingly often.

External links

it:Pinus mugo pl:Kosodrzewina

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