Pinus serotina, the pond pine, marsh pine or pocosin pine, is a tree found along the Atlantic coastal plain of the eastern United States, from southern New Jersey south to Florida and west to southern Alabama. This pine often has a crooked growth pattern and an irregular top and attains the height of 15–20 m, occasionally up to 30 m.
The needles are in bundles of three or four, and of length 15–20 cm. The almost round cones are 5–9 cm long with small prickles on the scales. Its cones are serotinous and require fire to open. The pond pine is found in wet habitats near ponds, bays, swamps, and pocosins.
The species name is derived from the persistently unopened cones that may remain closed for several years before they release their seeds; the opening is often in response to forest fires.
At the north end of its range, it intergrades and hybridises with pitch pine (P. rigida); it is distinguished from that species by the longer needles and on average slightly larger cones. Some botanists treat pond pine as a subspecies of pitch pine.
Pond pine cones are smaller and rounder than loblolly pine cones.
Unlike loblolly pines, pond pines have the ability to grow needles directly from the trunk.
- Flora of North America, Profile and map: P. serotina
- USDA FS: Silvics of Trees of North America. Pinus serotina Michx. Pond Pine
- 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. 73. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7.
- Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina: Pond Pine (Pinus serotina)
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Pinus serotina. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
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