Loblolly Pine, Pinus taeda
Pinaceae or Pine Family


Tall, scruffy, evergreen tree. Leaves needle-like, 5 to 10 inches long, in clusters of usually 3 (but occasionally 2). Bark rough, irregularly breaking into plates. Female cones stout, oblong, about 3 to 5 inches long. Each cone scale tipped with a formidable thorn.

Native tree of the southeast; in Virginia native to the coastal plain. However, often cultivated and persisting or escaping in the Piedmont and the Mountains. Rare in Wildwood, at least one tree along the Riverway just north of the Great South Meadow. A stand is also cultivated just outside the Park, near the trailhead by the High School track.

Easily identified because, of all the pines in the Park, this species has the longest needles, and the heaviest, most heavily armed cones. White pine (P. strobus) cones are longer, but more slender and unarmed. Virginia pine (P. virginiana) and shortleaf pine (P. echinata) cones are somewhat similar, but smaller.

Leaves Bundles of needles Mature Cones
Cones Cone scales closeup Cone

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