(Chapm. ex Engelm.) Sarg.
|Natural range of Pinus clausa|
Pinus clausa (Sand Pine, Sandhill Pine) is a small, often shrubby tree from 5–10 m (16–33 ft), exceptionally to 21 m (69 ft) tall, found in two separate locations, one across central peninsular Florida, and the other in the western Florida panhandle and the Alabama coast; there is a range gap of about 200 km (120 mi) between the populations (from Apalachicola to Cedar Key). It is largely confined to very infertile, excessively well-drained, sandy habitats where competition from larger-growing species is minimized by the harsh growing conditions, as in the Florida scrub.
The leaves are needle-like, in pairs, 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) long, and its cones are 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) long. Over much of its range, it is fire-adapted to stand-replacing wildfires, with the cones remaining closed for many years (clausa = closed), until a natural forest fire kills the mature trees and opens the cones. These then reseed the burnt ground. Some populations differ in having cones that open at maturity, with seed dispersal not relying on fires.
Sand Pine woods are an important habitat for the endangered Florida Sand Skink.