Information on tree species

Pinus mugo

Pinus mugo Turra

Family: Pinaceae

Common Name: Dwarf mountain Pine, Mugo Pine

A shrubby species, rarely reaching tree size, that inhabits the highest mountains in the northern part of the Mediterranean basin. It can be found in various subspecies from Spain, where it is abundant in the Pyrenees, through the Alps, to the Carpathian Mountains and the highest mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. It typically grows above the treeline, in a vegetation zone known as the subalpine zone. Branches are often prostrate on the ground to avoid being exposed to winds and to be covered by snow in winter. The bark is dark gray, the needles are paired, measuring 3 to 7 cm in length, and the cones, ranging from oval to conical, are brownish and measure between 2.5 and just over 5 cm in length. The young branches yield a balsamic essential oil used in the production of candies, liqueurs, and for respiratory ailments.

In Italy, besides in the Alps and Prealps, it grows on some peaks of the Apennines, and notably on the Maiella and in the Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise National Park, where it has remained as a relic from the last glaciations. Due to global changes and the relatively low height of the Apennine Mountains, it may decrease or disappear from the Apennines in the future.

Pino mugo