Pinus echinata P. Miller. Subgenus: Pinus. Section: Trifoliae. Subsection: Australes. Phen: Mar-Apr; Sep-Oct. Hab: Dry to dry-mesic upland forests and woodlands, rocky ridges and slopes, glades, bluffs, Coastal Plain sandhills, old fields, riparian forests, generally in rather xeric sites and on acid soils, but also occurring in mesic to even wet sites and on mafic or subcalcareous rocks. Dist: Widespread in se. North America, north to s. NY, NJ, s. PA, s. OH, s. IL, s. MO, and e. OK, perhaps reaching its greatest importance in dry, sandstone landscapes, such as the Cumberland Plateau of WV, KY, TN, and AL, and the Ozarks and Ouachitas of AR, MO, and OK.
ID notes:Where their ranges overlap, P. echinata often co-occurs with P. virginiana and is sometimes confused because both species have short needles and small cones that tend to persist on the trees. P. echinata has needles 7-13 cm long, not twisted, or slightly so, in bundles of 2, usually with some in bundles of 3, rather slender, < 1.0 mm wide (vs. needles 2-8 cm long, typically twisted, in bundles of 2, rather stout, often 1.0-1.2 mm wide), bark plates mostly > 4 cm wide, with crater-like blisters ca. 1 mm in diameter (vs. bark plates mostly about 2 cm wide, without crater-like blisters), winter buds not very resinous (vs. very resinous), and 3-4 year-old twigs rough and flaking (vs. smoothish to rough). From a distance, Pinus echinata has a "fuzzy" look, with a rounded crown, lacking the slender "spiky" branches of P. virginiana projecting at angles upwards from the crown, instead having horizontal branches in the crown.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Synonymy: = Ar, C, ETx1, F, Fl1, FNA2, G, Il, K1, K3, K4, Mo1, NY, Pa, RAB, S, S13, Tat, Tn, Tx, Va, W, WH3, WV, Price (1989), Ward (1963); = Pinus mitis Michx.