The Gymnosperm Database


Tree [Li Xiang-Wang].


Bark (plus P. yunnanensis behind) [Li Xiang-Wang].


Shoot with cones [Li Xiang-Wang].


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Conservation status

Pinus squamata

Li 1992

Common names

巧家五针松, qiaojia wuzhen song (Richardson and Rundel 1998).

Taxonomic notes

Joins P. bungeana and P. gerardiana in subsection Gerardianae, having similar bark, but differing in slender leaves in fascicles of 4-5 and cones with small seeds and long seedwings (Li 1992). It also shows some similarities to the rare Mexican endemic Pinus rzedowskii and some of the piñon pines.


A fast-growing, straight-stemmed slender conic tree to at least 15-20 m (mature height unknown) with smooth off-white bark closely similar to that of P. bungeana. Branches pale grey, smooth. Shoots greenish-brown, smooth. Leaves superficially resembling Pinus armandii, drooping, 4-5 per fascicle, 9-17 cm long, slender, 0.8 mm wide, glossy green on dorsal face, white stomatal lines on inner faces (Li 1992, [no date]); sheath mostly deciduous but smallest sheath scales moderately persistent (Li [no date]; as in Pinus rzedowskii and P. maximartinezii). Cones similar to P. rzedowskii and P. balfouriana, 9+ cm long, 3-4 cm broad (closed), on a 1 cm stalk, green ripening red-brown, scales with a flat to slightly raised apophysis and a dorsal umbo (Li 1992, [no date]), umbo 'unarmed' (Li 1992) but actually with a small c. 1 mm mucro much as in Pinus balfouriana (Li [no date]); seeds small, c. 4-5 mm, with a 16 mm articulate wing (Li 1992).

Distribution and Ecology

China: Qiaojia Xian, N Yunnan, at about 2200 m elevation (Li 1992). The species is critically endangered. Only about 20 trees are known (Li 1992). Those shown here are young, perhaps about 30 years old, mixed with Pinus yunnanensis in a habitat which appears to comprise open scattered degraded secondary woodland, scrub and grassland. The widely-spaced branch whorls suggest that these trees are as yet far from mature and could become markedly larger, possibly reaching heights over 30 m eventually.

It is unlikely to be very hardy, estimated probably USDA Zone 9, perhaps Zone 8.

Big tree






Discovered April 1991 by Pangzhao J.Q.; studied September 1991 and described 1992 by Li Xiang-Wang (1992). A highly distinct species.


Li Xiang-Wang. 1992. A new series and a new species of Pinus from Yunnan. Acta Botanica Yunnanica 14: 259-260.

Li Xiang-Wang. [no date]. Photographs courtesy Li Xiang-Wang, Forestry Dept., Southwest Forestry College, Kunming, Yunnan, in collection of M. P. Frankis.

Page text prepared by M.P. Frankis, 1998.12.

See also

The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.

Last Modified 2017-12-29