Pinus clausa

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Pinus clausa
Pinus clausa.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Pinus
Species: P. clausa
Binomial name
Pinus clausa
(Chapm. ex Engelm.) Sarg.
Pinus clausa range map 1.png
Natural range of Pinus clausa

Pinus clausa, with the common names Sand Pine and Sandhill Pine, is endemic to the Southeastern United States.


The tree is 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.


Pinus clausa is a small, often shrubby tree from 5–10 m (16–33 ft), exceptionally to 21 m (69 ft) tall.

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.[1]


Pinus clausa woodlands are an important habitat for the endangered Florida Sand Skink.

The dense branching makes this tree unsuitable for wood production, and when used at all, it mainly is used for wood pulp.

This pine is also sometimes known as Scrub Pine, but this name more commonly refers to the closely related Pinus virginiana (Virginia Pine).


  1. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 70. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 

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