Pinus pungens Lambert. Subgenus: Pinus. Section: Trifoliae. Subsection: Australes. Phen: May; Sep-Oct. Hab: Dry ridges, cliffs, shale barrens, usually requiring fire for its reproduction, occurring at least up to 1550 m. Dist: A Central and Southern Appalachian endemic: n. NJ, through se. PA, w. MD, WV, w. VA, w. NC, and e. TN to nw. SC and ne. GA. Occasionally planted outside its natural distribution, as in NY.
ID notes: Pinus pungens has a distinctive habit as compared to other "fire pines" with which it often grows (Pinus rigida, Pinus echinata, Pinus virginiana). While most pines develop a gnarled crown of twisted and repeatedly forking branches with cones scattered throughout, P. pungens tends to have long, straight, nearly horizontal branches with whorls of cones.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Synonymy: = C, F, FNA2, G, Il, K1, K3, K4, Pa, RAB, S, S13, Tat, Tn, Va, W, WV, Price (1989)