Pinus elliottii var. densa
The Densa Pine is a variety of pine native to the “slashes,” or marshy wetlands, of Southern Florida. This evergreen grows quickly, and can reach heights between seventy-five to one hundred feet tall at maturity. Though its growth habit is classified as pyramidal, it typically grows far more vertically than horizontally, with spreads generally topping out between thirty five and fifty feet.
Densa Pine foliage grows with needles paired off in groups of two and is a light, warm-toned green. The trunk is covered with plate-like bark in varying shades of rust and grey, and becomes increasingly prominent as the tree grows and the canopy opens. The seed cones on a Densa Pine grow to be roughly 6 inches in length and are a favorite of wildlife, especially squirrels.
These pines are easy growers, especially in their native state of Florida. Once established, they have a higher tolerance for both drought and flood than most pine varieties. They require full sun and can thrive in nutritionally sparse soils. Densa Pines are often planted in groupings to give the landscape a natural feel.
South Florida Slash Pine, Yellow Pine, Dade County Pine
Hardy Range: 7A – 11
Mature Height: 75 – 100’
Mature Spread: 35 – 50’
Growth Rate: fast
Foliage is needled and soft yellow-green. Needles grow in pairs of two and are typically seven to twelve inches long. Trees produce seed cones of nearly six inches in length which will attract wildlife. Bark is reddish brown with grey undertones, and grows in interlocking plates. Growth pattern is pyramidal, though the silhouette is significantly taller than wide.
Soil: wet to moist, well drained, sandy, limestone
Exposure: full sun