Pinus thunbergii

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Black pine
Jap blk pine.jpg
Pruned black pines in Japanese National Garden, Tokyo
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Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: P. subg. Pinus
Section: P. sect. Pinus
Subsection: P. subsect. Pinus
P. thunbergii
Binomial name
Pinus thunbergii

Pinus thunbergiana

Pinus thunbergii (syn: Pinus thunbergiana), also called black pine, [2] Japanese black pine, [3] and Japanese pine, [4] is an East Asian pine native to coastal areas of Japan (Kyūshū, Shikoku and Honshū) and South Korea. [5]


It is called gomsol (곰솔) in Korean, hēisōng (黑松) in Chinese, and kuromatsu (黒松) in Japanese.


Black pines can reach the height of 40 m, but rarely achieves this size outside its natural range. The needles are in fascicles of two with a white sheath at the base, 7–12 cm long; female cones are 4–7 cm in length, scaled, with small points on the tips of the scales, taking two years to mature. Male cones are 1–2 cm long borne in clumps of 12-20 on the tips of the spring growth. Bark is gray on young trees and small branches, changing to black and plated on larger branches and the trunk; becoming quite thick on older trunks. [2] [3]


In North America this tree is subject to widespread mortality by the native American pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus , spread by means of beetle vectors. Subsequently, blue stain fungus invades the plant, leading to a rapid decline and death. This nematode has also been introduced to Japan accidentally, leading to the species becoming endangered in its native area.


Because of its resistance to pollution and salt, it is a popular horticultural tree. In Japan it is widely used as a garden tree both trained as Niwaki and untrained growing as an overstory tree. The trunks and branches are trained from a young age to be elegant and interesting to view. It is one of the classic bonsai subjects, requiring great patience over many years to train properly.


  1. Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus thunbergii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2013: e.T42423A2979140. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42423A2979140.en .
  2. 1 2 English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 575. ISBN   978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2016 via Korea Forest Service.
  3. 1 2 "Pinus thunbergii". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA . Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  4. "Pinus thunbergii (クロマツ, Japanese black pine) description". Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  5. Flora of China.

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