NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Pinus palustris

Longleaf Pine, Southern Pine

Scientific Name:

Pinus palustris



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Longleaf Pine, Southern Pine

Plant Type


Life Cycle


Plant Family

Pinaceae (Pine Family)


NC Native

Invasive Status:



72-100 ft., More than 100 ft.


Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Bloom Time:

March, April

Growing Area:

Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Formerly throughout the Coastal Plain, Sandhills, and lower Piedmont, on a wide variety of soils (sandy, loamy, clayey, or peaty), from very dry to very wet conditions, in savannas,woodlands, and forests affected by relatively frequent natural (lightning caused) fires (likely augmented by native Americans), now reduced to less than a tenth of its former abundance by a variety of forces, including turpentining, timbering, free-range hogs, fire suppression, and “site conversion” by foresters to other trees, now extremely rare in VA and north of the Neuse River in NC, still occurring in some abundance in the outer Coastal Plain from Carteret County, NC south into GA, in the Bladen Lakes area of Bladen and Cumberland counties, and in the Sandhills of Harnett, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond, Moore, Anson, and Montgomery counties, NC and south into GA.

Leaf Arrangement:

Fascicled (Pines)

Leaf Retention:


Leaf Type:

Leaves needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:


Life Cycle:


Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Highly Recommended and Available

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)


Adapted to fire. Juvenile stage looks like a clump of grass. Critical nesting habitat for the rare Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

Long-leaf Pine stand with young saplings.

New Hanover County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Seed cones mature 2 years after pollination and measure 6 to 10 inches. Cone scales contain a reflexed prickle.

Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC

Bettina Darveaux


USDA PLANTS Database Record

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