Common name: Italian stone pine, umbrella pine, parasol pine
Pinus pinea is a conifer native to the Mediterranean with broad, oval cones which take 36 months to mature. Our tree hangs out nearly horizontally over the Roy Forster Cypress Pond. A typical tree is very tall with a broad crown. They are an important part of Italian landscaping and often seen in Southern California. Our sole specimen was planted in 1987.
It has been cultivated for its edible seeds, or “pine nuts”, for over 6,000 years. The cones are harvested and placed in burlap sacks for 20 days, then smashed. The nuts are then separated by hand, a labour-intensive activity that explains why these nuts are quite expensive. They are very nutritious, containing essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.
Greenish photo taken by Roy Forster before 1982 at Kew
Cone drawing by C.Giordano/EUFORGEN, via Wikimedia Commons
Tree photo in Spain by Matt Westgate, via Wikimedia Commons
Other photos in our Garden