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A tree 30 to 50 ft high, but often of scrubby habit; bark scaly, young shoots covered with a vivid, pale, purplish bloom, smooth; winter-buds very resinous. Leaves in pairs, falling the third year, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, twisted and curved; leaf-sheath persistent, 3⁄16 in. long. Cones 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1 to 11⁄4 in. wide at the base, conical, prickly.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced early in the 18th century or perhaps before. The brightly coloured, slender young shoots of this species distinguish it among pines with short leaves in pairs. P. echinata, with slender, glaucous shoots, has its leaves often in threes.
There is a specimen of this pine in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley, measuring 62 × 51⁄2 ft at 3 ft (1983), and a smaller one in the National Pinetum, Bedgebury, Kent.