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Maritime Pine or Cluster Pine
Characteristics: Medium evergreen tree 20-35 m
Seeds per packets: Approx. 8
A popular ornamental tree with an erect stem and deeply fissured orange-brown to purple bark and stiff needle like foliage. Often planted in parks and gardens in areas with warm temperate climates where it has become naturalised in parts of Australia, South Africa and southern England. The cones are also an attractive feature of this tree being about 10-12 cm long with shiny scales. Flowering occurs in spring.
Often used to stabilise sandy soils or planted along exposed coasts as a windbreak as it is very tolerant of coastal exposure.
The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
The Maritime Pine is also commonly used in the art of Bonsai.
Native to the Mediterranean region of south-western Europe the Maritime pine is closely related to Turkish pine, Canary Island pine and Aleppo pine.
Adaptable to a wide range of soils and conditions. Drought tolerant.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C
Cold stratification is recommended.
Cold treatment may not be critical for germination to occur in colder regions but should give increased germination rates.
This can be replicated by cold stratification in the refrigerator for 28 days weeks. Alternatively over wintering in the garden in cold climates will assist germination.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.