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Woody > Pinus > Pinus elliotti > Pinus elliotti

Pinus elliotti

Slash Pine

Origin:  Native to the southeastern United States (Gilman, et al., 2019).
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Native to the United States Pinus elliotti has been produced in other countries for commercial cultivation due to its highly desirable characteristics as high-quality wood and resin for raw materials in different industries (Lazarotto, 2020). It's good adaptability to different conditions and rapid growth distinguishes it from other pines. Although little used in landscape, it has potential for use in naturalization of landscapes or parks (Gilman, et al., 2019). - Luiz Filipe Berra Pessoa

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


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
8b - 11a
Canadian Hardiness Zone
8b - 9b
RHS Hardiness Zone
H4 - H1C
Temperature (°C)
(-9) - 7
Temperature (°F)
20 - 45
18 - 30 m
10 - 15 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Named after Stephen Elliot, a South Carolina botanist who distinguished the species from P. taeda (Lazarotto, 2020). This fast-growing plant is adapted to different soil conditions and tolerant to stress conditions, however it is quite susceptible to diseases and pests (Gilman, et al., 2019). It is highly desired for commercial plantations both for the quality of its wood and resin, and for the ease of cultivation (Lazarotto, 2020).
It is used in landscapes with the intention of naturalizing the scenery (Gilman, et al., 2019) and provides good results for reforestation or recuperation of degraded areas (Soligo, 2009). Widely used to produce resin for the extraction of turpentine, raw material for making industrial solvents, cosmetics, and other products (Lazarotto, 2020). Its wood is used for furniture and civil construction and in the production of softwood pulp and wood fiber sheets (Floriano, 2004).
Able to adapt to different soil conditions from clay to sandy soils (Gilman, et al., 2019), it grows best in soils with good drainage and some moisture. It is resistant to drought conditions and thrives in full sun or half shade (Soligo, 2009). Tolerate to acidic soil, high pH is prejudicial to the species, and presents good tolerance to poor, saline soils. Studies show that air pollution and acid rain cause a decrease in the growth and population of Pinus elliotti (Byres, Dean, & Johnson, 1992).
An irregular form that is intermediate between oval and pyramidal, presenting a more pyramidal shape when young (Gilman, et al., 2019). The branches are sparse and not very dense (Floriano, 2004).
ID Characteristic
Long needles in groups of 2 or 3, with thick reddish-brown bark that forms plates. The formation of a large layer of fascicles on the ground due to the constant fall of the leaves and the difficulty of its decomposition.
Fusiform rust and annosus root rot are both great concerns to this species, which affect the stems and roots and can cause the plant to die (Carey, 1992). It is also susceptible to Pine needle miner, Pine needle scale, Pine spittlebug, spruce mites, sawfly larvae. Bark beetles can be a more serious problem and are also susceptible to fusiform rust and pitch canker (Gilman, et al., 2019). In the seedling production process, some fungi can cause great damage, like Fusarium oxysporum, which infects the seed and causes toppling after emergence of the plant (Byres, Dean, & Johnson, 1992). High pH and planting in construction areas are associated with severe chlorosis problems, with yellowing of the plant and eventual death (Gilman, et al., 2019).
Occurs naturally at altitudes of up to 150 m, along rivers and on the shores of marshes and lakes in hot and humid areas. With humid summers and dry springs and autumns, this species occurs naturally in flatwoods in northern Florida and southern Georgia (Lohrey & Kossuth, 1990).
Bark/Stem Description
When young the bark is grayish brown and presents furrows (Soligo, 2009), becoming reddish brown as it matures. As the bark becomes thicker, 2 to 4 cm, it forms plates with thin scales that flake off showing a dark orange colour (Gilman, et al., 2019). Its trunk can reach up to 0.8 m in diameter and can be straight or contorted (Maciel, 2012).
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Leaf buds are silvery brown and measure 1.5 to 2 cm, with a cylindrical shape and fringed scale margins. (Duke, 1983) (Conipher Society, n.d.).
Leaf Description
Leaves are needle-shaped, with groups of 2 in younger individuals and 3 in older ones (Gilman, et al., 2019). They are alternate, with entire and simple margins. The veining is parallel, with dark green, fragrant leaves and the leaf blade is 15 to 30 cm long. (Gilman, et al., 2019)
Flower Description
This species does not produce flowers but has strobiles that occur in clusters of 12 or more and begin to develop in the last few weeks of June (Lohrey & Kossuth, 1990). Strobiles are inserted at the tip of the lateral branches, 2 to 3 cm in size and red and yellow in colour (Floriano, 2004). Pollination is by wind (PFAF, n.d.) and pollen is released between January and February (Lohrey & Kossuth, 1990).
Fruit Description
Cones are persistent and scabby, reddish-brown, elongated oval, measuring approximately 8 to 15 cm, and 2.5 to 7.5 cm in diameter (Floriano, 2004). Squirrels help disperse the seeds, as they are attracted to the cones (Gilman, et al., 2019).
Colour Description
Pinus elliotti is an evergreen with dark green leaves that do not change colour during the year. The trunks are reddish brown (Gilman, et al., 2019). Cones are woody brown, and the inflorescences are yellow and not showy (Floriano, 2004).
Texture Description
Fine, no changes between seasons (Gilman, et al., 2019).
Notable Specimens
State Forest Edmundo Navarro de Andrade, in Rio Claro, Brazil, is a conservation center that has been used in the past for research on economically important timber species. The site presents a very large collection of eucalyptus and pine trees, including adult Pinus elliotti specimens.
Most common method of propagation is through seeds, which germinate in about 15 to 20 days and do not require specific previous treatment. The use of mycorrhizae associated with sowing increases the vigor of the plant (PFAF, n.d.). After sowing, about 7 to 8 months, when the plant reaches 30 cm in height, it can be transplanted to its definitive location (PFAF, n.d.). Another form of successful propagation is through micropropagation, a method that has been used for the production of seedlings of high-quality genotypes used in commercial timber production (Nunes, et al., 2016).
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Pinus elliottii has been used traditionally as folk medicine for rheumatism, inflammation of the intestine, colds, gonorrhea, and others through the consumption of the Turpentine present in the resin (Duke, 1983).
Gilman, E. F., Watson, D. G., Klein, R. W., Koeser, A. K., Hilbert, D. R., & 2, D. C. (2019, 04 25). PINUS ELLIOTTII: SLASH PINE. Retrieved from University of Florida: Lohrey, R. E., & Kossuth, S. V. (1990). Pinus elliottii Engelm. In R. E. Kossuth, Silvics of North America Vol. 1 Conifers (p. 877). Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.