spruce pine
Pinus glabra Walter
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: Walter pine, cedar pine, bottom white pine
  • LEAVES: persistent, needles 2 per fascicle, short, to about 4” long, twisted, flexible, dark green (especially when viewed at a distance)
  • SEED CONE: cones 2-3.5” long, conical or elliptic, brown at maturity, umbo of scale with a weak, soon-deciduous prickle that points upward toward cone apex; seed cones persist on trees for 3-4 years
  • TWIGS: slender, brown to gray, lacking persistent scale-leaves and thus smooth
  • BARK: dark gray, ridged and grooved but not breaking into large plates, dissimilar from our other pines, hardwood-like in appearance
  • FORM: medium to large tree to ca. 120’ and 3’ dbh; crown irregular-shaped, especially on open-grown trees
  • HABITAT: nominal species of spruce pine hardwood-flatwoods, a community endemic to the Baton Rouge area; hardwood slope and small stream forests; regenerates in shady forest understories, the most shade-tolerant of our pines
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: South Carolina and Florida west to southeastern Louisiana; not native west of the Mississippi River [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: wood of limited commercial importance; ornamental; Christmas tree
  • WILDLIFE: used as a rub tree by whitetail deer; various birds and mammals consume seeds
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. mesophytic pine regenerating in shade
    2. hardwood-like bark
    3. needles short, twisted, dark green, 2 per fascicle
    4. small elliptic cones, umbo spines pointing up (“spruce up”)