Our next Featured Plant, the Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida), is an evergreen native, unique to Eastern North America. At BBP, Pitch Pine provides a calming essence to Pier 1, the Pier 3 Greenway Terrace and Pier 6. This extraordinary tree has proved tough and durable in poor conditions, especially in sandy soil normally uninhabitable by other trees. Since the Pitch Pine is an evergreen, its sharp and slender needles retain a dark verdant color year-round and produce small clusters of light-brown pinecones.
© Dendroica cerulea via Flickr.
One of the Pitch Pine’s more fascinating features is the unique physical irregularities it experiences with age. When exposed to extreme heat, it sprouts gnarled branches extending from multiple mangled trunks. Consequently, this resilient tree has become a popular choice as a bonsai.
Be careful when touching the Pitch Pine! Its tactile texture may attract curious hands, but its prickly bark, thorny spines and sharp needles make it hazardous to handle.
To catch a glimpse of this charming evergreen, look near the Pier 6 volleyball courts, the boat ramp on the south side of Pier 1 and at the Pier 3 Greenway Terrace.