Black pine (Eng), pino negral, pino laricio, pino salgareño (Spa), pinassa (Cat), larizio pinua (Baq), pinheiro-negro (Por).
“In Cazorla there is also an old black pine, that's more than a thousand years old… As its trunk leans to one side, it was no good for wood so they didn't cut it down; and as the conditions are so adverse […] it has had to be strong and resist”.
‘El imposible olvido’, Antonio Gala
The black pine can be more than 40 m tall. It has ash-grey or silvery bark when young, becoming a dark chestnut colour in adult specimens, and the twigs are reddish or orangey. The leaves are acicular in shape, generally 6-16 cm long, flexible and not prickly, and they develop in pairs. The cones are small, around 4-8 cm long, and the stalk is very short or absent, so that they appear to sit on the twigs. The pine nuts are very small and, when the ripe cone opens, they exit using a membranous wing that facilitates their dispersion by the wind.
The black pine grows on poor, dry soils and, although it is indifferent to substrate, prefers limestones. Its optimal altitude is between 500 and 1800 m.
This subspecies is distributed throughout the mountainous zones of southern France and the eastern half of the Iberian Peninsula. It is abundant in the Pyrenees, Catalan mountains, Sistema Ibérico, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Teruel ranges, and the Sistema Bético.