Native to the Mediterranean region. The tree is easily recognisable, because of its characteristic ‘umbrella shape’ when mature. The bark is grey-brown in colour, flaking, to reveal orange-red patches.
The cones stay closed for 3 years. The seeds are well hidden inside the cone, covered in black soot; inside the seed are the actual pine nuts.
The male flowers are golden in colour and grow in groups.
The female flowers are yellowish-green in groups of 1-3.
Needle leaf is narrow, pointed, like a needle, e.g. Pinus. In pairs.
Cone: egg-shaped to oval, 10-15 cm long.
Nuts: pine nuts are used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine and are one of the main ingredients in Italian pesto sauce.
Nuts: high in protein, mono-saturated fats, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.