Pinus parviflora


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pinus parviflora
Species Authority: Siebold & Zucc.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Japanese White Pine
Taxonomic Notes: Pinus parviflora is closely related to a group of pines that includes P. fenzeliana (syn. P. kwangtungensis), P. dalatensis, P. wangii, and P. morrisonicola, but occurs at a considerable distance from these in Japan. One variety is commonly recognized: P. parviflora var. pentaphylla (Mayr) A.Henry (syn. P. pentaphylla Mayr), with a more or less well developed seed wing and flatter, less cup-like seed cone scales. Wingless seeds and hollowed, cup-like scales that accommodate them are not independent characters but form an 'adaptive complex' to prevent the seeds from falling where the seedlings have little chance of growing up under the parent trees. Persistence of cones may also be part of this syndrome, depending on the feeding habits of the bird species that feed on them and (presumably) play a role in their dispersal.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-01-31
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
This common and widespread species is not threatened with extinction and hence listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Found in Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku; and South Korea,and Utsurio-To (island).
Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku); Korea, Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Widespread and locally common.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pinus parviflora occurs at altitudes from just above sea level to about 2,500 m, with an optimum between 1,000 and 1,500 m a.s.l. in montane forests. It is found in both pure and mixed stands with other conifers and also with angiosperms, usually on steep slopes, dry sites or rocky ridges. At high, subalpine habitats this species becomes dwarfed and some of the cultivated forms may have been derived from such provenances.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Japanese White Pine has little value as a timber tree, but great value as an ornamental. In Japan, this species has been in cultivation in gardens and parks and in temple grounds for many centuries. Growth forms that stay low and form picturesque shapes are highly sought after and these preferences culminate in the art of bonsai, for which this is the most commonly used species of pine. In bonsai culture growth is inhibited and plants are slowly forced by various techniques into shapes that appear to imitate ancient trees growing on exposed mountains in a miniature fashion. In Western horticulture, the species is also popular and a substantial number of cultivars has been produced, predominantly dwarf forms with strongly glaucous foliage and some with variegated needles. Naturally growing trees of the species are relatively rare and mostly confined to collections in arboreta. Most plants in the trade under the species name are derived from Japanese garden selections (cultivars without a name).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No specific current threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Present in several protected areas.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus parviflora. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 March 2015.
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