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PINUS mugo 'Aurea'

Image of Pinus mugo 'Aurea'

Mary S. Thomas

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

PINUS mugo 'Aurea'

Plant Common Name

Golden Mugho Pine, Mugho Pine, Swiss Mountain Pine

General Description

Mugho pine is a dense, shrubby, evergreen conifer native to the mountains of south-central Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. Its cultivar 'Aurea' is distinguished by its bright gold winter foliage.

The short, stout, yellowish green needles of this pine occur in bundles of two. They turn a strong yellow in winter. In spring, tiny male cones and larger female cones appear on the previous year's growth. The reddish brown, egg-shaped female cones shed their seeds their second autumn, but sometimes remain on the branches 1 to 2 years longer. This cultivar grows about a hand's length per year, eventually forming a broad, bushy, medium to tall shrub with ascending branches.

Mugho pine is best planted in full sun and average to well-drained soil. Its relative lime-tolerance suits it for planting near concrete foundations or walkways. In spring, the tips of the new growth "candles" can be pruned away to promote compactness. This cultivar is a candidate for foundation plantings, Asian-style gardens, mixed borders, and bonsai.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m

  • Native To

    Europe, Southern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Gold

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No