Know your Iberian Trees: The Stone Pine
Name: Stone Pine
In Spanish: Pino piñonero
AKA: Parasol pine, umbrella pine, pinus pinea.
The handsome umbrella canopy and bright green needles. The deeply-fissured bark which comes off in giant flakes. The piñonero. The pine-nutter. He's the beau of the pine genus. The pino of all pinii. The Mediterranean is his playground. He likes to be seen on the rocky headlands of the Costa Brava, or on the Munts and Dalts overlooking the Maresme coast. Or shading the millionaire’s villas on the old swampland of Castelldefels. Anywhere within sight of the Mediterranean. The two of them go together.
He's lived in Catalonia for milennia. Catalans sprinkle his piñons (pine nuts) in their salads, pipe up the fires of their calçotadas with his cones and enjoy his airy shade in the heat of summer. To them, he's pi bo (good pine), or pi para-sol (parasol pine).
Occasionally old pinus pinea ventures inland, pops up beside his less glamorous, unsophisticated cousin, pino carrasco (the aleppo pine). But he gets bored with the conversation, finds it a bit chilly away from the coast- Brrr - and misses the blue, open horizon. He’s a maritime kind of pine, see.