Pinus pinaster

Common Name(s)

cluster pine


Pinus pinaster Aiton



Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Gymnosperm Trees & Shrubs


Terrestrial. A plant of coastal and lowland habitats (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). The plant grows in sites of low fertility (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). A plant of shrubland, tussockland, cliff, bluff and coastal communities (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).


Medium-sized to large tree with rather open crown, the stout trunk becoming bare of branches for most of length. Bark thick, deeply fissured and forming small irregular plates with smooth dark red or reddish-brown surfaces. Shoots deep brown or brownish, shining, glabrous, with remains of leaf bases prominent. Buds cylindric-oblong, sometimes very large (> 4 x 1.5cm), not resinous; scales dark reddish, reflexed, with margins strongly white-fimbriate. Leaves 2 per fascicle, 6~17cm x 2mm, appearing narrower due to incurved margins, dull green, rigid, pungent; resin canals median; sheath 5~10mm long in older leaves. Male strobili < 1.5cm long, ellipsoid or broad-ellipsoid. Conelets sessile, prominent and broad-ellipsoid; scales obtuse, acute or mucronate. Mature cones often persistent for several years, sessile or subsessile, 7~15 x 4~6cm when closed, usu. cylindric-ovoid, sometimes ovoid, generally symmetric; apophyses rhomboid, keeled, shining brown; umbo prickly. Seed wing asymmetric, to 2.5cm long. (-Webb et. al., 1988)

Similar Taxa

Very distinctive bark forming reddish-brown plates on mature trees. Stout needles in pairs, persistent large cones with a broad spike.

Flower Colours

No Flowers

Year Naturalised




Reason For Introduction

Life Cycle Comments

11 000-15000 seeds/kg of cones (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). Seeds will survive 10-20 years in storage under 10% moisture content at 5*C (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). Seeds ''short-lived'' in seed bank (Atkinson 1997).

Seed is dispersed by wind (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

The plant is tolerant to drought, partial shade and frost and intolerant to poor drainage (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). The plant is intolerant to dense shade (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). Physical damage and grazing result in regrowth unless all the green foliage is removed (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). Regeneration occurs after fire if there is an adjacent seed source (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). Requires low soil fertility (Atkinson 1997).

This page last updated on 13 Jun 2012