Mugo Pine

mugo pine 2


mugo pine 3

mugo pine 4

Mugo Pine

(Pinus mugo)

Interesting Information About Plant: 

            The Mugo Pine has typically been found in the Alpine European parts of the world.  It is also more commonly called Mountain Pine and can be found in places such as the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Carpathians.  While it grows mainly in places that have higher altitudes, it has also been found in abundance in Poland, Germany, and Bulgaria.  The Mugo Pine’s name may be misleading, as it only grow between 3 to 10 feet in height and much resembles a shrub or a bush as opposed to the quite larger trees associated with the Pine Family.

            The Mugo Pine has proven to be extremely successful in other countries outside of the European Alps where it originates.  It has become increasingly popular because of the many different ways that it can be used.  In landscaping, the Mugo Pine is used to create a type of screening effect because it grows so low to the ground and also because it will only lose its needles once every four years.  It has also been found to be an excellent source of protection against erosion and run off.  The Mugo Pine is found on Bellarmine’s campus between the Library and Alumni Hall next to the stairs.  This may be due to the Mugo Pine’s excellent ability of protection against run off and erosion when it rains.  It is also known to help against the formation of avalanches in the high mountains.  The Mugo Pine is also used to make a type of herbal tea that is popular in Bulgaria.  

Common Name: Mugo Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus Mugo

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Pinaceae or Pine Family

Continent of OriginEurope (Alpine)

Most Distinguishing Morphological Features of This Plant:  It is a small shrub that resembles very closely a pine tree.  It grows close to the ground and sheds it’s leaves once every four years.

Plant Growth Habit: Shrub  

Height at Maturity: Between 3 – 10 Feet  

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Evergreen Perennial  

Growth Habitat: Full Sun 

Manner of Culture: Landscape Shrub-Vine-Tree 

Thorns on Younger Stem? No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish   

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter:  Between The Diameter of a Broom-Handle and a Coffee-Mug  

Produces Brownish Bark? Yes 

Bark Peeling in Many Areas?  No

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark: Bumpy 

Type of Leaf: Needle-Like 

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Less than Length of a Credit Card

Leaf Complexity: Two needles per cluster

Shape of Leaf: Simple 

Edge of Leaf: Smooth 

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 

Leaf has Petiole? Yes 

Patterns of Main-Veins: Parallel 

Leaf Hairiness: No Hairs

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green 

Change in Color of Foliage in October: No Change   

Flowering Season: Autumn

Flowers: Single or in Loose Groups, may vary 

Type of Flower: Like a Pine Cone  

Color of Flower: Yellow (Male) Purple or Green (Female)

Shape of Individual Flower: Radially Symmetrical 

Size of Individual Flower: Between a Quarter and the Length of a Credit Card 

Sexuality: Male and Female on Same Plant

Size of Fruit: Between a Quarter and the Length of a Credit Card 

Fruit Fleshiness at Maturity: Dry

Shape of Fruit: Oblong-Oval   

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Brown or Dry

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels? Yes   

Unique Morphological Features of Plant: Two needles per cluster (Fascicle)

Is the Plant Poisonous: None of Plant

Pesty Plant (weedy, hard to control)? No

Common Name(s):  Mountain Pine

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: Arborvitae, Juniper, or any young Pine Tree

Page prepared by:

Allison Urda

December, 2006

Information - 502.452.8000
© Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 2002-2004