Scots pine

Scientific or Latin name:

Pinus sylvestris L.

Common name:

Scots pine, Valsaín pine.

Basque name:

Ler gorri.

Family: Pinaceae.

Origin: Asia, northern and central Europe, northern Italy and Macedonia and north-western Portugal. Very extensive range in Europe and Asia.

The scientific name of the species “silvestris” is due to the fact that it is the only pine tree that grows naturally in Sweden, the homeland of Linnaeus.

Monoecious, evergreen tree.

The bark peels off in transparent, papery, membranous sheets.

Its leaves, called needles, are 3 to 10cm long. They live on the tree for two to three years. They are dark green in colour.

Flowers: Monoecious species.

Male in spikes about 3 cm long consisting of tightly packed, oval-shaped, yellowish, 1 cm long single flowers which produce large amounts of pollen.

– Females in cones usually in groups of two, less than 1 cm long by 4-5 mm wide, erect on a small stalk before becoming pendulous at maturity.

Fast-growing, long-lived species (up to 200 years in the mountains), medium growth; monocyclic species (with 1 flowering whorl).

Five varieties have been described in the Iberian Peninsula.

Its wood is of great quality and has multiple applications.

It has diuretic, balsamic, antiseptic and expectorant properties. A turpentine resin can be obtained from the plant.

In Spain it grows best from 1,000 to 2,000 m altitude with rainfall ranging from 400 to 800 mm with a minimum of 150 mm in summer depending on the area.

Pine seeds can be kept for a long time without losing viability in sealed and stored containers.

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