The Longleaf Pine is one of the most beautiful pines
in Florida. Once found throughout the state, its numbers have been greatly reduced through
human-related activities. With continued urban development and the suppression of fire,
this tree has become endangered.
A large tree that grows 80 - 120-feet tall and a trunk that may be
two to two and ½-feet in diameter. Longleaf Pines have a long trunk that is bare of
branches and a small open crown. At the end of the branches are silvery white buds.
The Longleafs leaves are its needles that come in threes and
range from eight to 18-inches long. The fascicle is usually greater than ½-inch long.
Longleaf Pines do not have flowers. This gymnosperm has naked seeds
that are carried in its cones. The seeds are winged.
The cones of this pine are very large, ranging from five to
The bark of this tree is dark red/brown and lies in irregular
plates on the trunk. The inner bark is the same color. On smaller trees, the inner bark
may be gray and rough.
This tree grows well in dry upland habitats. It has a high drought
and salt-spray tolerance.
The seeds of this tree may be eaten raw or roasted and young
needles may be made into tea.