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Pinus pumila (common names Siberian dwarf pine, dwarf Siberian pine,[1][3] dwarf stone pine,[1] Japanese stone pine,[3] or creeping pine[4]) is a native of northeastern Asia, including the islands of Japan. It shares the common name creeping pine with several other plants.

Pinus pumila
Pinus pumila1.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: P. subg. Strobus
Section: P. sect. Quinquefoliae
Subsection: P. subsect. Strobus
P. pumila
Binomial name
Pinus pumila
  • Pinus cembra subsp. pumila (Pall.) Endl.
  • Pinus cembra var. pumila Pall.
  • Pinus cembra var. pygmaea Loudon
  • Pinus nana Lemée & H.Lév.
  • Pinus pumila var. mongolica Nakai
  • Pinus pumila f. auriamentata Y.N.Lee



It is a coniferous evergreen shrub ranging from 1–3 m (3–10 ft) in height, exceptionally up to 5 m (16 ft), but may have individual branches that extend farther along the ground in length. In the mountains of northern Japan, it sometimes hybridises with the related Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora); these hybrids (Pinus × hakkodensis) are larger than P. pumila, reaching 8–10 m (26–33 ft) tall on occasion.

Pinus pumila in natural habitat, eastern Siberia

The leaves are needle-like, formed in bundles of five and are 4–6 cm long. The cones are 2.5-4.5 cm long, with large nut-like seeds (pine nuts).


The range covers the Far East, Eastern Siberia, north-east of Mongolia, north-east of China, northern Japan and Korea.[3] Siberian dwarf pine can be found along mountain chains, passing the upper forest border, where it forms uninterrupted hard-to-pass thickets, also it grows in the sea bank of the Okhotsk and the Bering Seas, Tatarsk and Pacific coast (the Kurils).

It grows very slowly and is a perennial plant. It can live up to 300 and even 1000 years.[5][full citation needed] For example, in harsh conditions of Siberia region there are trees of Siberian dwarf pine, which are 250 years-old and older.


This plant is grown as an ornamental shrub in parks and gardens. The cultivar P. pumila 'Glauca' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6]


The seeds are harvested and dispersed by the spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes).


  1. ^ a b c Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus pumila". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T42405A2977712. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42405A2977712.en.
  2. ^ a b "Pinus pumila". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Pinus pumila". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  4. ^ Fukui, K.; Sone, T.; Yamagata, K.; Otsuki, Y.; Sawada, Y.; Vetrova, V.; Vyatkina, M. (2008). "Relationships between permafrost distribution and surface organic layers near Esso, central Kamchatka, Russian Far East". Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. 19 (1): 85–92. doi:10.1002/ppp.606.
  5. ^ Koropachinsky, Vstovskaya, 2002
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pinus pumila 'Glauca'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.

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