Thông nhựa, thông ta, thông hai lá, thông Tenasserim [Vietnamese]; 南亚松 nan ya song [Chinese]; Tenasserim pine. The Tenasserim Mountains, where the species was first described, are in southern Myanmar.
Syn: P. ikedai Yamam.; P. tonkinensis A. Chev.; P. merkusii var. tonkinensis (A. Chev.) Gaussen ex N.-S. Bui; P. merkusii var. latteri (Mason) Silba; P. merkusii subsp. latteri (Mason) D. Z. Li; P. merkusiana Cooling & Gaussen, nom. inval.. Previously commonly treated as synonymous with P. merkusii Jungh. et De Vriese, but now treated as a distinct species (Farjon 1998).
Alliances to pines other than P. merkusii are unclear, but probably closest to Sect. Pinea, subsect. Pinaster (Frankis 1993).
A tree, 30-45(65) m tall with and open crown and level to upcurved branches, the crown changing from conical to rounded as the tree ages. Bark rough, gray-brown, deeply fissured, forming small rounded plates on the lower part of the trunk; thin and flaky in upper crown. Branches mostly uninodal. Leaves 2 per fascicle, 19-27 cm long, moderately slender, rigid, sheaths persistent; dried leaves 100-200 mg per fascicle (c.f. under 90 mg in P. merkusii). Cones singly or in pairs with short stalks, 6.5-13 cm long, elongate conic with a rounded base before opening, green ripening glossy orange-brown. Cone scales large with a flat apophysis and a prominent transverse keel; seeds medium-small, 10 mm, with a long wing. The seedlings show a grass stage (Cooling and Gaussen 1970, Farjon 1984, de Laubenfels 1988).
Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Thailand and southern Myanmar; also in extreme S China (Hainan Island), but possibly introduced there. It is found from sea level to 900 m (mostly at lower altitudes than the sympatric P. kesiya but with some overlap), usually in open, savannah-like areas that are frequently burned by native peoples (de Laubenfels 1988). USDA hardiness zone 9-10.
Planted trees are tapped for resin (Farjon 1984).
Listed as threatened in Vietnam (as P. merkusii) by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Named for Captain Latter, regional Superintendent of Forests and thought to be the first Englishman to see the tree in habitat (Mason 1849).
Cooling, E.N.G. and H. Gaussen. 1970. In Indochina Pinus merkusiana sp. nov. et non P. merkusii Jungh. et De Vriese. Trav. Lab. Forest. Toulouse T. 1 V. 8 Art. 7.
Frankis, M.P. 1993. Morphology and affinities of Pinus brutia. Pp. 11-18 in O. Tashkin (ed.) Papers Internatl. Sympos. Pinus brutia. Marmaris / Ankara.
Mason, F. 1849. The pine tree of the Tenasserim provinces. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal Sci. 5(18):73-75. Available on Google Books.
Last Modified 2012-11-23