T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Pinus nigra (Austrian Pine)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Pinus
Species: P. nigra
Binomial name: Pinus nigra
Synonyms: P. austriaca. P. laricio austriaca. P. nigra austriaca. P. nigricans.
Common names: Austrian Pine, Black Pine, European Black Pine

Pinus nigra is a moderately fast growing, variable species of pine, occurring across southern Mediterranean Europe from Spain to the eastern Mediterranean on Anatolian peninsula of Turkey and on Corsica/Cyprus, including Crimea, and in the high mountains of the Maghreb in North Africa.

Pinus nigra is a large coniferous evergreen tree, growing to 20–55 metres high at maturity. Trunk has lateral branches forming 90 degrees to the trunk. The bark is brown to grey, developing gray-brown ridges and dark brown furrows with age. 
The thick, evergreen, crescent shaped needles are 10 to 15 cm long, flexible and wont snap when bent double. There are two needles per fascicle.
Pinus nigra is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, and both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by wind.
The yellow male gametes (pollen cones) are cylindrical and they are in clusters along twigs. The ovulate cones are oval and are yellow to purple in colour. Both types of cones appear during spring to early summer.
The mature, ovoid ,seed cones are 5–10 cm long, with rounded scales; they ripen from green to pale grey-buff or yellow-buff and mature in autumn. The umbo (the first year's growth) is armed with a very short, minute prickle.
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.

Pinus nigra has become naturalised in a few areas of the United States. In New Zealand it is considered an invasive species and noxious weed, along with lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), due to their habitat conversion nature in tussock grassland plant communities, shading out the native bunch grasses as their forest canopy develops.


Malecones accumulate extensively at the bases of long young shoots

Male cones and discharged pollen.

There are two needles per fascicle.