Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Pine, a name now restricted by botanists to the genus Pinus, which includes about seventy species of cone-bearing trees, natives of the northern hemisphere, and mostly extra-tropical. Growing socially, they form extensive forests in the north of Europe and America, often exclusively of a single species. One, the Northern Pine or Scots Fir (P. sylvestris), is native in the north of Britain. The distinctive characters of the genus are that its prismatic needle-like evergreen leaves are borne on dwarf shoots, two, three, or five together, in the axil of a membranous scale-leaf, and that the cone persists, the apex of its scales becoming a thick woody rhomboid apophysis with a central point. The leaves vary from an inch to a foot in length, and sometimes remain several years on the tree. The flowers are monoecious, the male consisting of numerous imbricated sporophylls (stamens) each bearing two pollen-sacs, and the female of a cone, each scale of which bears two ovules. The pollen-grains have bladder-like expansions of the extine, and the seeds, which are sometimes large and edible nuts, generally have a thin wing. The timber, tar, and turpentine of the various species are highly important in the arts and in commerce. The Northern Pine occurs in Siberia and over most of Europe. It yields Red, Norway, Riga, or Baltic Pine. In Scotland it is the badge of the Clan M'Gregor. P. Pinaster, the Cluster or Maritime Pine of southern Europe, binds together with its roots the shifting sands of the Landes, and yields Bordeaux turpentine; P. Pinea, the Stone Pine of southern Europe, is our chief species with edible nuts; P. rigida and P. australis, the Pitch Pine'(q.v.) of northern and southern United States respectively, yield one of our chief timbers.