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Toxic parts

The wood, sawdust and resins from various species of pine can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[1].

Edible uses


Seed - raw or cooked[2][3][4][5][6][7]. Much valued as a food, the oil-rich seed has a delicious flavour but with a slight flavour of turpentine. A reasonable size, it is about 10mm x 8 mm[8]. An edible drying oil is obtained from the seed[3][9][10][7]. A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood[8].

Unknown part

Material uses

A tan or green dye is obtained from the needles[11]. The needles contain a substance called terpene, this is released when rain washes over the needles and it has a negative effect on the germination of some plants, including wheat[12]. Turpentine is obtained from the leaves[13][14]. Oleo-resins are present in the tissues of all species of pines, but these are often not present in sufficient quantity to make their extraction economically worthwhile[15]. The resins are obtained by tapping the trunk, or by destructive distillation of the wood[4][15]. In general, trees from warmer areas of distribution give the higher yields[15]. Turpentine consists of an average of 20% of the oleo-resin[15] and is separated by distillation[4][15]. Turpentine has a wide range of uses including as a solvent for waxes etc, for making varnish, medicinal etc[4]. Rosin is the substance left after turpentine is removed. This is used by violinists on their bows and also in making sealing wax, varnish etc[4]. Pitch can also be obtained from the resin and is used for waterproofing, as a wood preservative etc. Wood - soft, easily worked. Used for furniture, turnery etc[13][14][16].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge[4]. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections[4]. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB[4]. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers[4].

There are no medicinal uses listed for Pinus cembra.


Ecosystem niche/layer


Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


It is best to sow the seed in individual pots in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible otherwise in late winter. A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4°c can improve the germination of stored seed[17]. Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and protect them for their first winter or two[18]. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow[K]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm[8]. We actually plant them out when they are about 5 - 10cm tall. So long as they are given a very good weed-excluding mulch they establish very well[K]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[8]. Cuttings. This method only works when taken from very young trees less than 10 years old. Use single leaf fascicles with the base of the short shoot. Disbudding the shoots some weeks before taking the cuttings can help. Cuttings are normally slow to grow away[19].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Pinus cembra. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Thrives in a light well-drained sandy or gravelly loam[2]. Dislikes poorly drained moorland soils[2]. Established plants tolerate drought[8]. Succeeds in most situations, flourishing on N. facing slopes and in moist heavy clay soils[19]. Grows best in the cooler wetter areas of Britain[18][19]. A very hardy plant tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c[20]. The edible seeds are collected in large numbers in Siberia and are often exported[21]. (This report probably refers to the sub-species P. cembra sibirica.) This species does not appear to be long lived or to produce its cones freely in S. Britain[18]. It does not produce cones until it is 30 years old[8]. The cones take three years to ripen and then fall from the tree with the seeds still inside[22]. The seed is often eaten by squirrels etc before it can fall to the ground. The cones do not open, seed is extracted by breaking up the soft scales of the cone[8]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[8]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[8]. Slow growing in cultivation[19][22], plants usually make less than 30 cm increase in height per year even when young[23]. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby inhibiting the growth of other plants below the tree[24]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[8].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Pinus cembra. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Pinus cembra.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Pinus cembra
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
15 x 6 meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type

"image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus cembra.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


  1. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-01-01)
  2. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-01-01)
  3. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-01-01)
  4. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-01-01)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press (1975-01-01)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-01-01)
  7. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-01-01)
  8. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-01-01)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
  10. ? 10.010.1 Howes. F. N. Nuts. Faber (1948-01-01)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-01-01)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-01-01)
  13. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-01-01)
  14. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-01-01)
  15. ? Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
  16. ? 16.016.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-01-01)
  17. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-01-01)
  18. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-01-01)
  19. ? Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-01-01)
  20. ? Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
  21. ? Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man. Academic Press ISBN 0-12-136450-x (1975-01-01)
  22. ? 22.022.1 ? The Plantsman. Vol. 2. 1980 - 1981. Royal Horticultural Society (1980-01-01)
  23. ? Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-01-01)
  24. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-01-01)
Facts about "Pinus cembra"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Belongs to familyPinaceae +
Belongs to genusPinus +
Has binomial namePinus cembra +
Has common nameSwiss Stone Pine +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part + and Seed +
Has edible useCondiment +, Oil + and Unknown use +
Has environmental toleranceHigh wind + and Drought +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Wind +
Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
Has growth rateSlow +
Has hardiness zone4 +
Has imagePinus cembra.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +, Herbicide +, Resin + and Wood +
Has mature height15 +
Has mature width6 +
Has primary imagePinus cembra.jpg +
Has search namepinus cembra + and swiss stone pine +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy namePinus cembra +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedYes +
PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedYes +
PFAF propagation notes migratedYes +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Pinus cembra +, Pinus cembra +, Pinus cembra +, Pinus cembra +, Pinus cembra +, Pinus cembra + and Pinus cembra +