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Woody > Pinus > Pinus mugo > Pinus mugo var. mugo

Pinus mugo

var. mugo

Dwarf Mugo Pine

Origin:  Originally native to high elevations and the mountains of central and southern Europe, particularly Austria, Germany and Poland.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


A rather mundane, utilitarian plant with many exceptional cultivars being more garden worthy. Suited to highway and roadside plantings because of its salt tolerance and adaptability to tolerate lean soils.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
3 – 4 m
6 – 8 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
As a smaller version of the straight species, Pinus mugo var. mugo displays a tight, dense, compact form that is usually very low growing yet showing an upright growth pattern in its branches.
Pinus mugo var. mugo can be planted as a informal hedge or screening due to its dense foliage and wide growth. Best suited to highway plantings where erosion control may be needed.
It can adapt to a variety of growing conditions but prefers a loose, deep, well-drained soil, in full sun. In the spring, the new candles can be pruned to further slow its growth rate or to alter its shape; however, pruning is not required for healthy growth.
A very dense dwarf conifer with its width often exceeding its height; it is low growing with a very rounded form.
ID Characteristic
Known mainly for its compact rounded form, dense wide growth (which can sometimes double its height) and its intense dark green colour.
Susceptible to rusts and wood rot diseases. Sawflies as well as boring and scale insects can also pose a problem. Scale insect infestations can often be quite severe.
Cold, rocky and mountainous regions.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark has a scaly texture and has splits in a non-uniformed pattern, often giving in an irregular appearance. When leaves are removed or shed on younger stems, small bumps will form.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The buds have tightly packed resign coated scales. They are ovoid and oblong, approximately 1–1.5 cm in length displaying a reddish brown colour.
Leaf Description
The needles are usually grouped in fascicles of two with a slight curve, growing anywhere from 5–10 cm in length. They display a bright green colour which persists throughout the winter; however, the tips of the foliage tend to turn a yellowish colour through the colder months.
Flower Description
It has monoecious flowers with a yellowish to even slightly pinkish colour, ranging from approximately 2.5–5 cm long. The flowers are usually quite dull, not having significant ornamental value.
Fruit Description
The cones can grow solitary or in groups of up to 4; usually 3–5 cm in length with a greyish black colour at full maturity.
Colour Description
It has dark green foliage that persists through the winter except for the needle tips which yellow slightly due to cold temperatures. Bark has a brownish grey colour and cones have a similar to even darker appearance turning almost greyish black at full maturity.
Texture Description
Smooth, yet sharply textured needles with medium textured bark on the stems and main trunk.
Notable Specimens
Royal Botanic Gardens, Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Fanshawe College Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada.
It can be propagated by seed. The seeds can be immediately germinated after they are collected because they have no set dormancy period. This can often lead Pinus mugo var. mugo and other Mugo pines to become invasive species in certain European countries.