Species Hierarchy
Common name: PINE - SLASH
Scentific name: PINUS ELLIOTTII

Origin: VALDOSTA, GA., APRIL 22, 1989

Species Info:

This lifeform is found in the SE USA (Georgia, Alabama, and Florida). This lifeform is common in suitable environments.

Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii) is a Florida species that is found north to South Carolina in the coastal plain and west to the Mississippi River along the Gulf Coast. Needles are in bundles of two and generally are eight to ten inches long. This tree can be up to 100 feet tall.

Pine genus (Pinus) contains about 110 species found in the Northern Hemisphere.  These are evergreen trees with their needles in bunches.  The number of needles per bunch and their length can frequently be used to determine the precise species.  Pine trees are broken into two groups: hard pines and soft pines.  Many species of both hard and soft pine trees provide valuable building lumber.  Pine trees are frequently commercially planted and cultivated for their valuable wood.  There are over 44 species of pines (including some European imports) that are growing in North America.  There are also another 20 more or less recognized subspecies.
Following is a listing of the genus Pinus species that are native to the United States (* denotes the species is pictured  and discussed herein.):
*Pinus albicaulis (whitebark)          Pacific Northwest
*Pinus aristata (bristlecone)*           Local in West USA
  Pinus balfouriana (foxtail pine)      Local in West USA
*Pinus flexilis (limber pine)*           Rocky Mountains
  Pinus lambertiana (sugar pine)    California
*Pinus monticola (west white)*      Pacific Northwest
*Pinus strobus (white pine)*          NE USA & Appalachia
  Pinus cembroides (Mexican)           Mexico and Adj. USA
  Pinus edulis (pinyon)                         New Mexico and Adjacent
*Pinus monophylla (singleleaf)        Southwest USA
*Pinus quadrifolia (Parry)                   Baja California & California
Pinus attenuata (knobcone pine)       California
*Pinus banksiana (jack pine)*             Much of Canada & NE USA
Pinus clausa (sand pine)                      Florida
*Pinus contorta (lodgepole)                  Co & Pacific NW to Alaska
Pinus coulteri (Coulter)                           Baja and California
*Pinus echinata (shortleaf)*                 SE USA
*Pinus eliotii (slash pine)*                    Florida and adjacent
Pinus engelmannii (Apache)             NW Mexico
Pinus glabra (spruce pine)                Georgia and adjacent
*Pinus jeffreyi (Jeffrey pine)*              Sierra Nevada Mountains
Pinus leiophylla (Chihuahua)            West Mexico
Pinus muricata (bishop pine)           Local in California, Etc.
*Pinus palustris (longleaf pine)*      SE USA
*Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa)*       Widespread in West USA
*Pinus pungens (table Mountain)*    Local in Alleghenies
*Pinus radiata (Monterey pine)*        Local in California
*Pinus resinosa (red pine)*              NE USA and S.E. Canada
*Pinus sabiniana (digger pine)*       California
Pinus serotina (pond pine)              SE USA
*Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)*          SE USA
*Pinus torreyana (torrey pine)*      S. California (Local)
*Pinus virginiana (Virginia)*             Appalachia

The short table below will help separate the pines of the eastern and southeastern  United States.  The pines of the Canadian and New England area are not included.  The pines in this  table are listed by length of the needles with short needle species first:
Names,  Range,   Needle length inches,   Needles per bundle, Comments              
P. virginiana, Virginia,  Appalachia ,   1-3,    2
P. pungens,    Table Mnt ,   Appalachia,   1.5-2.5,     2,     Twisted needles
P. sylvestris, Scotch,       Europe,      1.5-3,      2,  Very common, Orange limbs
P. glabra,     Spruce,       Georgia,    2-3.5,     2 ,    Dark gray bark
P. clausa,     Sand ,        Florida,   3,         2,  Short tree
P. rigida,     Pitch,        N. Appalachia,   3-5,   3
P. strobus,    White,        NE USA ,   3-5,   5,    Smooth gray  bark
P. echinata,   Shortleaf,    SE USA ,   3-5,        2, Valuable timber tree
P. nigra,      Austrian,     Europe,    5-6,        2
P. serotina,   Pond,         SE USA ,   6-8,        3,  Coastal areas,   Slender needles
P. taeda,      Loblolly,     SE USA,    6-9,       3,   Valuable timber tree
P. elliottii,  Slash,        Florida,   8-10,      2,         Also Ga. etc.
P. palustris,  Longleaf,     SE USA,    8-18,     3 - 5, Plus Florida

Casuarina sp.  Several species of this Australian genus are  common in Florida.  They look like pines but are actually Dicots.

North American Pine family contains many valuable species.

Pines and Spruces, etc. (Family Panacea) comprise a group of about nine genera and about 195 species found worldwide. The family is of tremendous economic importance for building lumber. This group is also one of the most predominant forms of vegetation on much of the earth's land area. There are several important genera in this family, including the Firs (Abies), Spruces (Picea), Pines (Pinus), and Douglas Firs (Pseudotsuga).

Conifers (Order Coniferae) is an important group of trees and bushes found throughout the world. Although very common in the forests everywhere, this group of plants has only about 520 species. They are characterized by having needles. Pine trees and spruce trees are typical examples of conifers.

Gymnosperms are a group of trees and bushes usually characterized by needles and the production of cones to support the seeds. Most species are evergreen. (The actual technical definition has to do with the method of producing the seed.)

There are over 600 species of Gymnosperms known to science. The largest genus in this group in terms of species is the Pine genus with about 120 species. The second most common genus is the Podocarpus genus which is normally a more tropical group than the Pines.

Kartesz lists 135 species as growing in greater North America, including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Seed plants (Phylum Embryophyta) are generally grouped into one large phylum containing three major classes: the Gymnosperms, the Monocots, and the Dicots. (Some scientists separate the Gymnosperms into a separate phylum and refer to the remaining plants as flowering plants or Angiospermae.)

For North American counts of the number of species in each genus and family, the primary reference has been John T. Kartesz, author of A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (1994). The geographical scope of his lists include, as part of greater North America, Hawaii, Alaska, Greenland, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Kartesz lists 21,757 species of vascular plants comprising the ferns, gymnosperms and flowering plants as being found in greater North America (including Alaska, Hawaii, Greenland, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

There are estimates within the scientific world that about half of the listed North American seed plants were originally native with the balance being comprised of Eurasian and tropical plants that have become established.

Plant kingdom contains a large variety of different organisms including mosses, ferns, and seed plants. Most plants manufacture their energy from sunlight and water. Identification of many species is difficult in that most individual plants have characteristics that have variables based on soil moisture, soil chemistry, and sunlight.

Because of the difficulty in learning and identifying different plant groups, specialists have emerged that study only a limited group of plants. These specialists revise the taxonomy and give us detailed descriptions and ranges of the various species.  Their results are published in technical journals and written with highly specialized words that apply to a specific group.

On the other hand, there are the nature publishers. These people and companies undertake the challenging task of trying to provide easy to use pictures and descriptions to identify those species.


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