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PINUS mugo

Image of Pinus mugo

Mark A. Miller

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

PINUS mugo

Plant Common Name

Mugho Pine, Mugo Pine, Swiss Mountain Pine

General Description

Boulders and alpine plants look at home when in the presence of a mugho pine. This species is a dense, bushy, stiff-needled evergreen shrub native to the mountains of south-central Europe. The curved, twisted, dark green needles are paired. Small cones are borne toward the branch tips. Mugho pine is usually represented in gardens by one of the ubiquitous forms known collectively as the Pumilio Group. Although these are slow growing, they may eventually attain considerable size, especially in spread. Numerous truly dwarf forms are also available, including 'Ophir', with yellow winter color, and 'Humpy' and 'Teeny', extremely slow-growing, short-needled selections.

This tough cold-hardy shrub excels with full sun and tolerates most soils that do not become soggy. Its tight, stiff, often rounded habit lends a formal air to foundation plantings, containers, rockeries and mixed borders. Choose a dwarf cultivar if space is limited. Pests such as sawfly larvae are sometimes a problem. The natural variety uncinata can reach tree size although it is quite variable in mature stature.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 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

    4'-12' / 1.2m - 3.7m

  • Width

    8'-20' / 2.4m - 6.1m

  • 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)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • 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

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No