Bosnian Pine

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The Bosnian Pine (Pinus heldreichii, synonym P. leucodermis; family Pinaceae) is a species of pine that occurs in the mountains of southeastern Europe, in southwestern Bulgaria, Bosnia, Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, northern Greece (south to Mount Olympus), and locally in southern Italy (it is the symbol of the Pollino National Park), growing at 900–2,500 m altitude. It often reaches the alpine tree line in this area. It is an evergreen tree is up to 25–35 m height, and 2 m trunk diameter.

It is a member of the hard pine group, Pinus subgenus Pinus, with leaves ('needles') in fascicles (bundles) of two, with a persistent sheath. They are 4.5–10 cm long and 1.5–2 mm thick. Bosnian Pine cones are 5–9 cm long, with thin, fragile scales; they are dark blue-purple before maturation, turning brown when ripe about 16-18 months after pollination. The 6–7 mm long seeds have a 2–2.5 cm wing and are wind-dispersed.

A notable specimen in the Pirin Mountains of Bulgaria, known as Baikushev's Pine, is 24 m tall, 2.2 m in diameter, and is estimated to be over 1300 years old.


The species was first described as Pinus heldreichii by the Swiss botanist K. Hermann Christ in honor of Theodor von Heldreich in 1863 from specimens collected on Mount Olympus, and then described a second time as P. leucodermis in 1864; the author of the second description (the Austrian botanist F. Antoine who found it on Orjen above the Bay of Kotor) being unaware of the...
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