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Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine)
Cressler, Alan

Pinus virginiana

Pinus virginiana Mill.

Virginia Pine, Jersey Pine, Scrub Pine

Pinaceae (Pine Family)


USDA Symbol: pivi2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)

Virginia pine is a straggling, scrubby evergreen, usually 15-40 ft. tall, becoming flat-topped with age. Outstretched limbs spring irregularly from the reddish-brown trunk. Cones are sharp to the touch due to prickly-like appendages. Short-needled tree with open, broad, irregular crown of long spreading branches; often a shrub.

Used principally for pulpwood and lumber, it is hardier than most pines and suitable for planting in poor dry sites. Common in old fields as a pioneer after grasses on hills of the Piedmont, growing rapidly and forming thickets. Later this pine is replaced by taller, more valuable hardwoods.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Fascicled
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 55 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Reddish brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr
Bloom Notes: Flowers inconspicuous. Pollen cones reddish brown to yellow.


USA: AL , DC , DE , GA , IN , KY , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: Long Island to PA & s. IN, s. to GA & n.e. MS
Native Habitat: Areas of poor, light soil in mountains and old fields

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Poor, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: The species is valuable as cover for dry, barren sites. It dislikes shallow, chalky soils and is not tolerant of over-topping by other trees.


Use Wildlife: Seeds are an important wildlife food.
Attracts: Birds

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Eastern Pine Elfin
(Callophrys niphon)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Treatment: Pretreatment is usually not necessary, but germination of pine seeds exhibiting dormancy can be hastened by cold stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pinus virginiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinus virginiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinus virginiana


Record Modified: 2022-10-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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