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Pinus pinea (stone pine)

Highly valued for its edible seeds known as 'pine nuts', the stone pine has been cultivated in Europe for almost 2,000 years.
Stone pine at Kew Gardens

Pinus pinea at Kew Gardens

Species information

Scientific name: 

Pinus pinea L.

Common name: 

stone pine, umbrella pine, Italian stone pine

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Coastal dunes and flats, and on the lower slopes of hills and mountains.

Key Uses: 

Food (pine nuts), ornamental, medicinal, resin.

Known hazards: 

Sawdust and resin of various pines can cause skin dermatitis.


Genus: Pinus

About this species

Widely known for its edible seeds, the stone pine is an unusual and distinctive-looking tree, which can grow to achieve an umbrella-like appearance. Mature trees have thick, fire-resistant bark and large cones, which open and release their seeds in response to heat. The seeds are eaten and dispersed by birds and rodents. Stone pines have been widely cultivated in Europe, both as ornamentals and for their seeds and other products, and have been known to live for as long as 300 years. The resin of the stone pine contains turpentine which is used as an antiseptic, a remedy for kidney and bladder problems, and to treat skin conditions.


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