20 February 2015

Umbrella pines

A magnificent painting by Hendrik Voogd, from the Rijksmuseum, posted at Robs Webstek.

The trees are Pinus pinea, "also called Italian stone pine, umbrella pine and parasol pine."
Stone pines have been used and cultivated for their edible pine nuts since prehistoric times. They are widespread in horticultural cultivation as ornamental trees, planted in gardens and parks around the world.

In youth, it is a bushy globe, in mid-age an umbrella canopy on a thick trunk, and, in maturity, a broad and flat crown over 8 metres (26 ft) in width.

In Italy, the stone pine has been an aesthetic landscape element since the Italian Renaissance garden period.

It is also planted in western Europe up to southern Scotland, and on the East Coast of the United States up to New Jersey. Small specimens are used for Bonsai, and also grown in large pots and planters. The year-old seedlings are seasonally available as 20–30 centimetres (7.9–11.8 in) tall table-top Christmas trees.

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