Gymnosperm Database
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This tree grows by Jo-gye-sa, a Buddhist temple in central Seoul, South Korea. An information sign next to the tree says it is about 500 years old. It is 10 meters tall and 1.67 meters in girth at chest height. It is said that envoys going back and forth to China brought the tree and planted it here [Tom Velardi, 2004].


Bark on the tree shown above [Tom Velardi, 2004].


Foliage on the tree shown above [Tom Velardi, 2004].


Cone on a tree in the Seattle Arboretum [C.J. Earle, 2006.02.25].


Distribution map (Critchfield and Little 1966).


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Conservation status

Pinus bungeana

Zuccarini ex Endlicher 1847

Common names

白皮松 bai pi song [Chinese]; lacebark pine.

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Pinus excorticata Lindley and Gordon (Dallimore et al. 1967).


"A tree [24-30 m] high and [116 cm dbh]... Bark on young trees smooth, dull grey, scaling off in small patches like a plane tree, changing to chalky-white on old trunks, by which the species can be recognized from a long distance. Young shoots smooth, without down, greyish green. Winter buds spindle-shaped, nearly [12 mm] long, not resinous, composed of reddish brown scales. Leaves in threes, rather sparsely arranged on the branchlets, persisting three to four years, giving off a turpentiny odour when bruised, dark green, rather rigid, flattened, [5-7.5 cm] long, margins finely toothed, apex sharply pointed, faint stomatic lines on each surface; resin canals marginal and prominent; sheath soon falling away. Cones solitary or in pairs, sub-terminal but often appearing lateral by the growth of a sum- mer shoot, globose or ovoid, [5-6.5 cm] long, on short. stout stalks; scales terminated by a reflexed, triangular spine. Seed with a short, loosely attached wing." It closely resembles "P. gerardiana, from which it is distinguished by its smaller cones and stiffer leaves. From other three-leaved pines it is separated by its smooth, scaling bark, sparsely arranged foliage, peculiar habit, and the strong odour of its bruised leaves" (Dallimore et al. 1967).

Distribution and Ecology

NW China (Silba 1986). Hardy to Zone 5 (cold hardiness limit between -28.8°C and -23.3°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

"[I]t was first seen by Dr. Bunge near [Beijing] in 1831. It was subsequently found in the mountains of Central China by Wilson, and is cultivated by the Chinese in the vicinity of temples and cemeteries. It grows naturally amongst limestone rocks, with widely spreading roots and branches" (Dallimore et al. 1967).

Big tree




In Korea they are used for lumber and their seeds and oil are eaten (Tom Velardi e-mail 2004.04.18).


"In Korea, a few trees grow in such areas as Seoul, Goyang and Icheon in Gyeonggi-do, Miryang in Gyeongsangnam-do, Boeun in Chungcheongbuk-do, and Yesan in Chungcheongnam-do. The largest of these trees are designated and protected as natural monuments" (Tom Velardi e-mail 2004.04.18).


"Lacebark pines were introduced into Korea long ago, but they do not propogate well and thus there are very few of them here. ... They are blue-grey when young, but as they mature the bark peels off and they become more and more grayish-white in color. Because of this characteristic, they are called white-pines or white-bone pines" (Tom Velardi e-mail 2004.04.18).


See also

Nicholson, R. 1988. Pinus bungeana—A Ghostly Pine. Arnoldia 48(2): 32-38.

Wu and Raven 1999

Last Modified 2012-11-28