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Pinus caribaea - Caribbean pine


Native to:



Central Central America and parts of the Caribbean.

Hillsides and plains at low elevations. Up to 2300 meters above sea level. 30 meters tall tree.

Pinus caribaea - Caribbean pine

Ecological value:

Fast growing pioneer (15 to 20 years). Population controlled by regular forest fires. Can become invasive. Ornamental. Provides shelter, re-establishes woodland and protects the soil - only species so far to successfully revegetate barren and eroded lands. Used as erosion control.

Material uses:

Soft wood and can be logged for construction. Locally used for boat building and charcoal. Can be tapped for oleoresin and gum rosin, the latter used in the production
of paper, soap and glue.

Edible uses:

Seeds raw or cooked. Vanillin flavoring from resins.

Medicinal use:

Leaf oil used for medicinal baths. Turpentine from resin of all pine trees is an antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. Treats a variety of skin ailments.

Other details:

Many pine species are heavily exploited due to their fast growing nature. Contains terpene which is released when rain washes over the needles. This may have a negative effect on the germination of some plants. Wind pollinated.


Liam Pitts/Christine Facella


“Pinus Caribaea Morelet | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 16, 2023.
“Pinus Caribaea - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d.
Image source: C Facella

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