Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Pinus Pumila

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch


Pinus pumila (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Pinus pumila (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Poor, well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 5a – 8b 

Family: Pinaceae

Pinus pumila is an bushy, spreading evergreen shrub/ small tree. Its dark blue/ gray leaves are long and needle like, arranged in bundles of 2,3 or 5 and are up to 6cm long. The branches of the tree can extend along the ground in length. The flowers of the plant are monoecious.  The female flowers are purple, these mature to light brown cones of a length of up to 5cm. 

Pinus pumila, commonly known as Siberian dwarf pine, Creeping Pine or Japanese Stone Pine, is native to northeastern Asia, including the islands of Japan. The pine nuts of this tree are edible.

The etymological root of the binomial name Pinus is the old classical name for ‘Pine tree’. Pumila is derived from the Latin pumillus ‘dwarf’ refering to its habit.

Pinus pumila cones (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Pinus pumila cones (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

The landscape architect may find Pinus pumila useful as a small evergreen tree with an attractive architectural form. Once established this plant is drought tolerant and will tolerate exposed sites.

Ecologically, P. pumila provides little benefit to UK wildlife. The Spotted Nutcracker eats and disperses its seed

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the variety Pinus pumila ‘Glauca’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

P. pumila prefers poor, sandy, well-drained soils. It prefers neutral to acidic soils.

Pinus pumila requires little maintenance.


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