Japanese White Pine – Pinus parviflora

Japanese White Pine – Pinus parviflora
Family Pinaceae: Pine, Cedar, Spruce, Fir
Commonly called "five-needle pine", This lovely tree is a popular subject for bonsai.
Japanese White Pine cones & foliage
Commonly called 'five-needle pine', This lovely tree has an outstanding irregular silhouette, making it a great specimen for nearly any landscape. It is also a popular subject for bonsai. Grows to 50 feet, with a spreading, irregular form, dense crown and slow growth rate.

Japanese White Pine creates a striking landscape element wherever it is used. Often seen as a dense, conical form when young, Japanese White Pine develops into a 25 to 50-foot-tall, graceful, irregularly shaped tree, with an equal or greater spread, and a broad, flattened canopy. The 1 to 2.5-inch-long needles are stiff and twisted, forming blue/green tufts of foliage at branch tips, and creating an overall fine texture to the tree’s silhouette.

Japanese White Pine cones

When looking for a small, picturesque specimen pine for a landscape, search no more. One of the best specimens in any landscape, Japanese white pine is a pleasure to behold with attractive foliage in all seasons. Set it off in the landscape with a low ground cover beneath or locate it in the lawn, but keep the grass cleared away from the thin-barked trunk. Japanese White Pine should be grown in full sun on well-drained soil with adequate moisture. The trees are salt-tolerant, and tolerate moderate drought and moist, clay soil.

Cultivars include: ‘Brevifolia’, upright, narrow tree, sparsely branched, blue/green foliage in tight bundles; and ‘Glauca’, available in nurseries, greenish foliage with a touch of silver, wide-spreading tree, 45 feet high or more. [1] 

Japanese white pine ranges in Korea (Ullung Island) and Japan. Type variety in central W Honshu (southward from Fukushima Prefecture, mainly on Pacific Ocean side), Shikoku and Kyushu, growing at 200-1800 m elevation. Var. pentaphylla in S Hokkaido and N to central Honshu (in C Honshu mainly on Japan Sea side), growing on sunny rocky slopes at from 60-800 m elevation in Hokkaido, and 300-2500 m in Honshu (Iwatsuki et al. 1995). Along with another white pine, P. koraiensis, it is the characteristic pine is subalpine areas of Japan; these two pines probably covered much of the Honshu coastal area during the Pleistocene. [3]

Japanese White Pine

1. Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson, USDA Forest Service Fact Sheet ST-470, Japanese White Pine
2. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network – (GRIN)
3. Gymnosperm Database, www.conifers.org, Pinus parviflora Siebold et Zuccarini 1842
Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders is dedicated to providing scientific and educational resources for our users through use of large images and macro photographs of flora and fauna.

Tree Encyclopedia | Tree Index
Trees live longer than any other organism on earth. Trees commonly live more than 1,000 years, and many grow considerably older. Trees have been living on Earth for more than 370 million years, and today can be found almost everywhere from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert. Explore over 2,000 large format pictures of trees in more than 400 species. Family Pinaceae: Pine, Cedar, Spruce, and Fir