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Range of Pinus cubensis (Farjon and Styles 1997). Basemap from Expedia Maps.


Tree in habitat, near Baracoa; link to photo on Wikipedia [Dirk van der Made].


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Conservation status

Pinus cubensis

Grisebach 1862

Common names

Pino de Mayarí [Spanish]; Cuban pine.

Taxonomic notes

Closely related to the Hispaniolan species, Pinus occidentalis.

Synonymy (Farjon and Styles 1997):

Various Cuban botanists maintain that Pinus maestrensis is a distinct species, but I have no further information on it.


See Farjon and Styles (1997).

Distribution and Ecology

E Cuba: Sierra Maestra and Sierra de Nipe, E into the highlands terminating the eastern part of the island, also in foothills and coastal pine barrens at 100-900(-1200) m. Typical substrates include serpentine or other ferruginous soils ("Nipe latosol" or "Nipe clay"); coastal stands on alluvium. It usually forms pure, open stands and is often (as with almost all pines) invasive after disturbance (Farjon and Styles 1997). Naturalized in Ecuador.

Distribution data from USGS (1999).

Pinus cubensis is the only pine native to E Cuba (see below); no pines occur naturally between E Cuba and Pinar del Rio at the W end of the island (Farjon and Styles 1997).

Cuban pine forests in eastern Cuba, where this species occurs, are found in small patches around the Sierra del Cristal and Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa Mountains and in the Sierra Maestra. Annual precipitation in this ecoregion somewhat up to 1800 mm, with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. Average annual temperature is 25°C, lower at higher elevations. August is the warmest month and January the coldest. The pine forests occur primarily on acid soils with low water retention capacity and few essential elements. The principal soil types are quartz sands, pseudo-spodosols in the west and laterites. P. cubensis is a predominant species in the Sierra Maestra, where it occurs on landslide areas over granitic rock, and in the Sierras del Norte in the east (Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa). Common associates include griñapo (Dracaena cubensis), Eupatorium spp., Myrtus spp., Baccharis spp., Jacaranda arborea, and Eugenia pinetorum (World Wildlife Fund 2008).

Big tree




Locally exploited for its timber (Farjon and Styles 1997).




Grisebach, A.H.R. 1862. Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 8:530. Available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library, accessed 2011.03.19.

World Wildlife Fund. 2008. "Cuban pine forests." Encyclopedia of Earth., accessed 2009.04.10.

See also

Bisse, J. 1988. Árboles de Cuba. Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba: Editorial Científico-Técnica.

Hernandez, J.R. 1989. Atlas de Cuba: mapa de la vegetación original de Cuba. Map 1:2,000,000. Instituto de Geografía de Cuba. Havana, Cuba.

Shaw, G.R. 1904.03.19. The Pines of Cuba. The Gardener's Chronicle 35:179-180. Available at Google Books, accessed 2011.03.19.

Last Modified 2014-12-12