Pinus brutia · Calabrian pine · Eastern Mediterranean to Iraq
Pinus brutia var. eldarica (syn. Pinus eldarica) · Afghan pine · Azerbaijan
Pinus brutia is widespread on campus and can easily be mistaken for P. halepensis, a close relative. Allepo pine has shorter needles (2.5–4 inches long) and shorter cones (3 inches long) than Calabrian pine, whose needles are typically 5–6.5 inches long and cones to 4.5 inches long. Basically we are calling trees with the short, light green, notably fine needles P. halepensis, and those with longer, dark green, stiff and somewhat twisted needles P. brutia. Note that these pines are also closely related to another common 2-needled campus pine, Pinus pinea. Younger trees that have not developed the characteristic table-top canopy of Italian stone pines, or leaning habit of Allepo pines, bearing limbs often festooned with witches’-brooms, a growth of dense ball of twigs and needles resulting from viruses or fungi, may cause consternation until the needles are examined. The needles of P. brutia, on the other hand, are similar to those of Italian stone pine, and the cones and seeds become a definitive field character. The cones of P. pinea are more substantial – thicker, woodier – than the look-alike (except for size) cones of brutia and halepensis, beacuse each scale has evolved to bear its two, large, wingless edible seeds, or pine nuts. Each seed has a hard shell that has to be removed before eating. Additionally, fresh cones of pinea are an unmistakable glossy, chestnut brown. A glance at the thin-scaled brutia cones suggests they bear small seeds (see the cone illustration for P. halepensis). A grove of P. brutia surrounds the parking lot situated between Jerry Residence and the Knoll.
P. brutia var. eldarica may be seen as a group of five (accompanied by two Monterey pines) near the southeast back corner of the Schwab Residential Center by Manzanita Park lawn. It was formerly considered to be a variety of the Aleppo pine, with which it can be compared. The needles are in twos, the cones are without prickles, thin-scaled, and up to 5 inches long.
About this Entry: John Rawlings authored the type species (P. brutia) text (c 2008). The var. eldarica portion is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Natural range of the type species corrected to exclude S. Italy; Calabrian is a misnomer; ref. conifers.org (Oct 2017, SP).