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Pinus densiflora

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Title: Pinus densiflora  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Red Pine (disambiguation), Tama Forest Science Garden, Higashiyama, Iwate, Hanaizumi, Iwate, Hachimantai
Collection: Pinus, Pinus of China, Trees of China, Trees of Japan, Trees of Korea, Trees of Russia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pinus densiflora

Pinus densiflora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Pinus
Species: P. densiflora
Binomial name
Pinus densiflora
Siebold & Zucc.

Pinus densiflora,[1] or Japanese red pine, has a home range that includes Japan, the Korean Peninsula, northeastern China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong) and the extreme southeast of Russia (southern Primorsky Krai). This pine has become a popular ornamental and has several cultivars, but in the winter it becomes yellowish. The height of this tree is 20–35 m. The Japanese red pine prefers full sun on well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

The leaves are needle-like, 8–12 cm long, with two per fascicle. The cones are 4–7 cm long. It is closely related to Scots pine, differing in the longer, slenderer leaves which are mid green without the glaucous-blue tone of Scots pine.

In Japan it is known as akamatsu (赤松, literally "red pine") and mematsu (雌松). It is widely cultivated in Japan both for timber production and as an ornamental tree, and plays an important part in the classic Japanese garden. Numerous cultivars have been selected, including the variegated semi-dwarf Oculus Draconis, the pendulous, often contorted Pendula and the multi-trunked 'Umbraculifera' (Japanese 多形松 tagyoushou, sometimes spelled as tanyosho).

In Korea, simply called sonamu (소나무, literally "pine tree"), it takes special status. Historically, Korean dynasties looked after it for timber and resin production banning laypeople from logging them. Korean aristocrats, or Yangban, loved it because they thought this evergreen tree represents virtues of Confucianism, "fidelity" and "fortitude". In this strongly confucian society, it became national symbol. For Korean people, even today, it is considered to represent Korean spirit and mentioned in South Korean national anthem, Aegukga. Since it was introduced to the West by Japanese scholars during the colonial era, it was named "Japanese red pine" in English, and it still hurts Korean people's pride. Accordingly, they are trying to changed its name into simply "red pine" or "Korean red pine".


  1. ^ Lian, Chunlan (2001). "Outcrossing and paternity analysis of Pinus densiflora (Japanese red pine) by microsatellite polymorphism". Heredity 87. pp. 88–98. 

Further reading

  • J. E., Aughanbaugh (1950). "Japanese Red Pine_cabdirect". Pennsylvania Forests and Waters 2(1). pp. 10–11, 18. 
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