Pinus merkusii


Large tree 40-50 m tall, occasionally to 70 m. Pyramidal with heavy horizontal branches and thick fissured bark in most areas but in some regions trees have more slender, somewhat ascending branches and much thinner, smoothish bark resembling that in the upper crown of thick-barked populations. These two types hold true in artificial plantings. The reddish bark of young trees changes to dark brown weathering to gray on older trees. Seed 7.5 by 4.5 mm, with a deciduous wing 25 by 8 mm.


Asia-Tropical:, Philippines (Philippines present); South China Sea present; Sumatera (Sumatera present) E. Burma: present Mindoro: present Mt Kerintji: present SE. Asia: present Tapanuli: present mountains of Atjeh: present west coast of Luzon: present
In Malesia common throughout the mountains of Atjeh in Sumatra and scattered further south in Tapanuli with an isolated outlier near Mt Kerintji at c. 2° south of the equator and the only natural occurrence of pine south of the equator. The same or a closely related pine is scattered throughout SE. Asia from E. Burma to the South China Sea and two small areas in the Philippines, one on Mindoro and the other near the west coast of Luzon in Zamba-les Prov. .


The similar pines of the southeastern Asian mainland and the Philippines differ in certain ways from those of Sumatra. The mainland pines, which grow in areas with a distinct dry season much stronger than any seasonality in Sumatra, have a distinct grass stage for the seedling, a character not seen at all in Sumatra. The needles are 19-24(-27) cm long, the seed cones have a more typical taper of most pines, not the unusual cylindrical Sumatran shape, and their umbos tend to be distinctly raised on an apophysis distinctly wider than high. Seeds are nearly twice as heavy. Sumatran pines have a multi-nodal leader (several nodes in each year's growth) while the mainland form is uninodal. The new species, P. merkusiana, proposed for the mainland population, was described without a type specimen, but the earlier name, P. latteri, is already available. The varietal name tonkinensis is also available. Like Sumatra, mainland areas have an 'upland' thin-barked form to which the varietal name applies should further nomenclatural divisions be needed.


GAUSSEN - in Gymn. Act. & Foss. 1960: t. 344, 2 & 3
ENDL., Syn. Conif. 1847: 176
SHAW - in Publ. Arn. Arb. 1914: t. 198-200
MERR. - in For. Bur. Bull. Philip. 1903: 15
JUNGH. & DE VRIESE - in Bot. Zeit. 1846: 13
DE BOER, Conif. Archip. Ind. 1866: 5
SILBA - in Phytologia Mem. 1986: 149
HENKEL & HOCHSTETTER, Synop. Nadelhölz. 1865: 43
COOLING - in Fast Growing Timber Trees Low. Tropics. 1968: 126
DALLIMORE & JACKSON, Handb. Conif. 1923: 415
VIDAL, Sin. Atlas. 1883: t. 98, f. B
PHENGKLAI - in Thai For. Bull. 1973: f. 1
STEEN. - in Fl. Males. Bull. 1971: 1948
GORDON, Pinetum, ed. 1. 1858: 169
CARR., Traité Gén. Conif. 1855: 380
CRITCHF. & LITTLE - in U.S. Dept. Ag. Misc. Publ. 1966: map 39
MIROV, Genus Pinus. 1967: f. 3-51-52, t. 3-68-69, 553
PARL. - in DC., Prod. 16. 1868: 389
FOXW. - in Philip. J. Sc. 1911: Bot. 169
JUNGH. & DE VRIESE, Rev. Pl. Vasc. Filip. 1886: 296
MIQ. - in Fl. Ind. Bat. 1859: 1069


Pinus merkusii JUNGH. & DE VRIESE in De Vriese, Pl. Nov. Ind. Bat. Or.: t. 2. 1845
  • Pinus sylvestris auct. non L.: LOUR. in Fl. Coch. 2: 579. 1790
  • Pinus sumatrana JUNGH. in Bot. Zeit. 4: 698. 1846
  • Pinus finlaysoniana BLUME in Rumphia 3: 210. 1849
  • Pinus latteri MASON in J. Asiat. Soc. 1: 74. 1849
  • Pinus merkusii var. tonkinensis CHEV. in Rev. Bot. Appl. Ag. Trop. 24: 7. 1944
  • Pinus merku-siana COOLING & GAUSSEN, Trav. Lab. For. Toulouse: 1. 1970