NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Pinus serotina [= Pinus rigida ssp. serotina]

Pocosin Pine, Pond Pine, Marsh Pine

Scientific Name:

Pinus serotina [= Pinus rigida ssp. serotina]



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Pocosin Pine, Pond Pine, Marsh Pine

Plant Type


Life Cycle


Plant Family

Pinaceae (Pine Family)


NC Native

Invasive Status:



36-72 ft.


Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:


Growing Area:

Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Peaty soils of pocosins, swamps of small blackwater streams. On deep peats, P. serotina is stunted and of very irregular form; on mineral or shallower organic soils it can reach large size. Even when well-developed, the trunk is typically twisted and gnarled, helping to distinguish it from P. taeda.  Of local occurrence in the NC Coastal Plain, being common to locally abundant (and dominant) in some counties near the coast, from mainland Dare south to Brunswick. Farther inland, reasonably common in the Sandhills (along streams) and elsewhere in the southern Coastal Plain. Quite rare and locally absent in the northwestern quarter of the Coastal Plain. Very rare in the southeastern Piedmont.

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:

Suitable for home landscapes

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)


Well-adapted to fire by its serotinous cones and its ability to resprout needles from the branches, trunk ("epicormic sprouting"), or roots following fire. Following fires which destroy all branches but do not kill the trees, epicormic sprouting results in entire forests of odd-looking cylindrical pines, the trunk thickly beset with needles

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USDA PLANTS Database Record

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