Pinus echinata Mill.

shortleaf pine



*Nomenclature:

Pinus echinata Mill., Gard. Dict. ed. 8, Pinus No. 12. 1768.

DERIVATION: Spiny, or prickly, describing the cones.

OTHER COMMON NAMES: southern yellow pine, shortleaf yellow pine, oldfield pine, shortstraw pine, Arkansas soft pine.

*(From Little, 1979.)


Tree Characteristics:


Shortleaf pine derives its scientific name from the Latin word echinus which means hedgehog. The prickle on the umbo provides the spiny "hedgehog-like" appearance of the cone.

One of the four most important southern pines, shortleaf has the widest geographic range of any of its counterparts, and is second only to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) in standing timber volume. Shortleaf's expansive success can be attributed to its ability to grow on a wide range of soil and site conditions. It can withstand competition from other vegetation longer than most other pines. Shortleaf is one of the few pines that can sprout from the root collar if the stem is damaged or killed by fire or other injuries, but only until age 8 to 12 years.

Human uses: lumber, plywood, pulpwood, structural materials, boxes, crates, and ornamental vegetation. Even the taproot can be used for pulpwood.

Animal uses: Provides habitat and food for bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), meadowlark (Sturnella magna), eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), and a variety of songbirds. Early successional stages provide browse for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Older shortleaf pines with red heart rot (Phellinus pini) provide red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) cavity trees.


Australes pines Range and Habitat Interactive Comparison Tool
Bark Reproductive Structures Glossary
Leaves and Buds Additional Images References