Pinus heldreichii
Common name: 
Bosnian Pine
Snakeskin Pine
PI-nus hel-DRIEK-ee-i
Pinus leucodermis
Pinus heldreichii var. leucodermis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Conifer, evergreen tree, slow growing, may reach 70 ft (20 m) tall, pyramidal habit.  Bark gray, leaving yellow to whitish patches after exfoliating in irregular scales.  Young shoots gray-white, thick and glabrous (hairless), appearing like a snakeskin after the needles fall (Krüssmann, 1985)  (Sometimes called the "snakeskin pine".)  Needles 2 per bundle, very densely arranged, forward pointing, 7-9 cm long, stiff, dark green, stomatal lines on all sides, sheath 10-12 mm long.  Cones oblong-ovate, cobalt-blue or black when young, 5-7.5 cm long, short stalked, brown.
  • Sun
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 6        Native to the Balkans.   Common ornamental pine in Europe.
  • Taxonomy: This species was first described as Pinus heldreichii, to honor Theodor von Heldreich, by botanist K. Hermann Christ in 1863 from a sample collected on Mount Olympus.  In 1864 it was described a second time as Pinus leucodermis by botanist F. Antoine who was unaware of the earlier publication by Christ. For some time the two taxa were maintained as separate, but modern studies show that both names refer to the same taxon.  The first description was as Pinus heldreichii and hence it is the accepted name.
  • Some selections:
    • 'Compact Gem'  -  tree, dwarf, compact, slow growing, upright branches, 4 ft high × 2 ft wide (1.2 × 0.6 m) in ten years
    • 'Emerald Arrow' -  tree, narrow, upright branches, dark green, 15 ft high × 8 ft wide (4.6 × 2.4 m) in ten years
    • 'Indigo Eyes'  -  tree, cones bright blue, borne when young, darkening to near purple black, 10 ft high × 8 ft wide (3.0 × 2.4 m) in ten years
    • 'Irish Bell'  -  tree, dwarf, compact, broadly pyramidal, 4 ft high × 3 ft wide (1.3 × 0.9 m) in ten years
    • 'Malink'  -  tree, dense and uniform, a fine green, 12 ft high × 8 ft wide (3.6 × 2.4 m) in ten years
    • 'Satellit'  -  tree, narrow, upright, columnar shape, 8 ft high × 4 ft wide (2.4 × 1.2 m) in ten years
    • 'Schmidtii'  -  miniature shrub, compact, oval form, slow growing (~ 2.5 cm/yr)
  • heldreichii: after Theodor H. H. von Heldreich (1822-1902), German botanist who settled in Greece, discovering some 700 Greek species new to science.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • bud and needles

    bud and needles

  • branch tip and needles

    branch tip and needles

  • immature cone

    immature cone

  • branches and cones

    branches and cones

  • spent cone

    spent cone

  • trunk, bark (snake bark)

    trunk, bark (snake bark)