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Encyclopedia > Pinus mugo
Mountain Pine or Mugo Pine
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Species: mugo
Binomial name
Pinus mugo

Mountain Pine or Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo) is a high altitude European pine, found in the Pyrenees, Alps, Erzgebirge, Carpathians, northern Appennines and Balkan Peninsula mountains from (mostly) 1,000m to 2,200m, occasionally as low as 200m in the north of the range in Germany and Poland, and as high as 2,700m in the south of the range in Bulgaria.

There are two subspecies, typical Pinus mugo subsp. mugo in the east and south of the range (southern & eastern Alps, Balkan peninsula), a low, shrubby, often multi-stemmed plant to 3-6m tall with symmetrical cones, and Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata in the west and north of the range (Pyrenees northeast to Poland), a larger, usually single-stemmed tree to 20m tall with asymmetrical cones (the scales much thicker on one side of the cone than the other). The two subspecies intergrade extensively (hybrid subspecies rotundata) in the western Alps and northern Carpathians.

Some botanists treat the western subspecies as a separate species, Pinus uncinata, others as only a variety, Pinus mugo var. rostrata.

Pinus mugo subsp. mugo in Romania

Both subspecies have similar foliage, with dark green leaves ('needles') in pairs, 3-7cm long. The cones are nut-brown, 2.5-5.5cm long, symmetrical, thin-scaled and matt texture in subsp. mugo, asymmetrical with thick scales on the upper side of the cone, thin on the lower side, and glossy, in subsp. uncinata.

The species is highly valued in horticulture, particularly the smaller subsp. mugo.

An old name for the species Pinus montana is still occasionally seen, and a typographical error "mugho" (first made in a prominent 18th century encyclopedia) is still repeated surprisingly often.

  Results from FactBites:
Sinlur Stoneworks Garden: Pinus mugo mugo (1264 words)
The correct name Mugo, however, is of such old origin that the meaning is lost to time, but may be an old Italian dialect word for "mountain," or possibly tracks back to a Nordic word meaning "misty" for growing in mists of high mountain plateaus & ledges.
mugo mugo, native to the Carpathian Mountains, Alps, Appennines of southern Italy, & the mountains of the Balkan Penninsula.
Mugo pine should not be fertilized, though a mulch every other year of well-composted manure doesn't hurt it.
Iseli Nursery: Dwarf Conifers, Japanese Maples, Living Art®, Bonsai (592 words)
The well-known mugo pine is a dense, shrubby species with short, rich green needles.
mugo pine with uniform, compact growth and refined dark green foliage.
mugo pine is a reliable selection that will remain compact without the need for shearing.
  More results at FactBites »



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