Pinus elliottii

slash pine, pitch pine, yellow slash pine


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Type


Leaf Shape


Growth Form


Flower Color


Flower Month

January - February

Height (meters)

30.0 - 35.0

Milky Sap








Growing Season

Warm season

Leaf Retention


Wetland Class


Wetland Coefficient of Conservatism


Prairie Coefficient of Conservatism


Field Characters

May be distinguished from a distance by its candles (the cluster of needles at the end of a growing tip) which are funnel shaped while those of longleaf pine are globe shaped. Cones often appear varnished and are stalked. In general needles usually appear to be more of a yellow green when compared to Longleaf pine.

Animal Use

Seeds eaten by wild turkey, squirrels, and some songbirds.

Natural History

Slash pine is commonly planted in reforestation. It occurs on the Coastal Plain from southern South Carolina to central Florida and southeastern Louisiana. In southeastern Texas it is planted and appears to be naturalizing. The French word for pine is "Pin" and a pine forest is called "pinie`re" (Holmes 1990).


Naturally this species is relegated by fire to occupy very wet portions of pine savannas adjacent to bayhead swamps, and in various examples of bayhead swamps. Native in Louisiana only in the Florida Parishes east of Hammond. Widely planted and performs well on many sites. Readily invades natural pine grasslands when fire is not adequate for pine grassland maintenance.

Plant Uses

The woods of southern pines share many common properties. They are classed as moderately heavy, moderately hard, moderately strong, stiff, and moderately shock resistant. Heartwood is moderately resistant to decay. All southern pines have moderately large shrinkage when drying but stay in place well after they are seasoned. In nail-withdrawal resistance, they rank above hemlock, spruce, and Douglas-fir. Used mainly for building materials such as framing, sash, sheathing, subflooring, joists, and interior finish. As a result of techniques developed in recent years, much southern pine is cut into veneers for use in construction plywood. It is also used for boxes, crates, caskets, interior parts of furniture, woodenware, and novelties. Considerable amounts go into poles, pilings, cross ties, and mine timbers. Much southern pine is cut for pulpwood. Southern pines are used for obtaining wood turpentine, tar, and tar oils through the distillation process.