Pinus brutia Ten., 1811
Syn.: Pinus halepensis subsp. brutia (Ten.) E.Murray, 1983
Common names: Turkish pine, Calabrian pine [En], Pin de Calabre, Pin de Turquie [Fr], Turkse den [Nl], Kalabrische Kiefer, Türkische Kiefer, Östliche Mittelmeer-Kiefer [De], Pino calabro [It], Pino de Chipre [Es], Τραχεία πεύκη [Gr], Kızılçam [Tu]
IUCN Status: LC (Least Concern)
Kalavassos (Καλαβασός), LARNACA (Λάρνακα, Larnaka) ● Cyprus
Description: Medium-size tree, reaching 20–35 metres tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1 metre, exceptionally 2 metres. The bark is orange-red, thick, scaly, and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk, and thin and flaky in the upper crown. The shoots are slender, 3-7 mm thick, grey-buff, and rough with persistent small decurrent scale-leaf bases.
The leaves (needles) are in pairs, slender, about 1mm thick, mostly 10–16 cm long, bright green to slightly yellowish green. The juvenile leaves are glaucous, 1.5-4 cm long.
The winter buds are ovoid-acute, with red-brown scales with long free tips revolute and fringed with white hairs.
The cones are stout, heavy and hard, symmetrical, broad conic, 6–11 cm long and 4–5 cm broad at the base when closed, green at first, ripening glossy red-brown when 24 months old. They open slowly over the next year or two to release the seeds, opening to 5–8 cm broad. The seeds are 7–8 mm long, with a 15–20 mm wing, and are mainly wind-dispersed.
Subspecies and varieties:
• P. b. subsp. brutia var. brutia – typical form; most of the range
• P. b. subsp. brutia var. pityusa – Georgia and adjacent Russian Black Sea coast; barely distinct from the type
• P. b. subsp. brutia var. stankewiczii – Crimea; barely distinct from the type
• P. b. subsp. brutia var. pendulifolia – southern coastal Turkey; needles 20–29 cm, pendulous
• P. b. subsp. eldarica – Eldar pine; Azerbaijan; Georgia; needles 8–14 cm, cones 5–9 cm.
Biology: The Krüper's nuthatch, a rare nuthatch, is largely restricted to forests of Turkish pine and depends heavily on it for feeding; the ranges of the two species are largely coincident.
Habitat: It generally occurs at low altitudes, mostly from sea level to 600 metres, up to 1,200 metres in the south of its range.
Distribution: Eastern Mediterranean Region. The bulk of its range is in Turkey, but it also extends to the East Aegean Islands of Aegean Sea, the Crimea, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan, northern Iraq, western Syria, Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus.
Uses: It is widely planted for timber, both in its native area (it is the most important tree in forestry in Turkey) and elsewhere in the Mediterranean region east to Pakistan.
Turkish pine is host to a sap-sucking aphid Marchalina hellenica. Under normal circumstances, this insect does no significant damage to the pine, but is of great importance for the excess sugar it secretes. This sugar, “honeydew”, is collected by honeybees which make it into a richly flavoured and valuable honey, “pine honey” (Turkish, çam balı), with reputed medicinal benefits.
Wikipedia, Pinus brutia
The Gymnosperm database, 2015