Pinus wallichiana A.B.Jacks., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1938: 85 1938. (Syn. Leucopitys excelsa Nieuwl.; Pinus chylla Lodd.; Pinus dicksonii Carrière [Invalid]; Pinus excelsa Wall. ex D.Don [Illegitimate]; Pinus nepalensis Chambray [Illegitimate]; Pinus wallichiana var. manangensis H.Ohba & M.Suzuki);
NE. Aghanistan to China (NW. Yunnan) as per WCSP;
Himalaya: from Afghanistan (Hindu Kush) to NE India; China: SE Xizang [Tibet]
and NW Yunnan; N Myanmar [Burma]
as per Catalogue of Life;
Himalayan Blue Pine, Himalayan Pine, Bhutan Pine, Himalayan White Pine • Hindi: Kail, Chilla, Dhurasala, Lim;
I would like to clarify one more point that In India Pinus gerardiana (Chilgoza pine) is distributed only in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Jammu & Kashmir. So far no population of Chilgoza pine is recorded in Uttrakhand. Pinus wallichiana (Blue pine) has needles in fasicles of 5 where as in Chilgoza pine it is 3 needles.
Chir Pine (Pinus roxburghii) is a tree in lower Himalayas (elevation from 800m to 1900m). Chir pine plantations were raised by Britishers mainly to obtain resin. The forests of Chirpine are dry and more prone to fire. While Blue pine (Pinus wallichiana) starts from 1800m elevation to 2500m or above also. Blue pine occurs in slightly wet areas or moist areas. Hence fire occurence is less in Blue pine forests.
Differences as per efi thread:
P.wallichiana is the Himalayan Blue Pine, which is very distinct by its 5-needled spur as against the 3-needled spur in most other species.
The cones of P.wallichiana are solitaryvery long and cylindrical as against P.patula which has several ovoid cones in a cluster.
The leaves of P.wallichina are not drooping as in P.patula.

Photographed on 29th May ’09 at Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand. Please help with the ID.

It looks like the Himalayan Edible Pine/ Chilgoza Pine [Pinus gerardiana].

Pinus gerardiana


The pinus in your photo is Pinus wallichiana.
Infact Chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana) bark is smooth with mottled appearance. I have attached the bark photo of Chilgoza (Neoza) pine for reference.

The Blue Pine [Pinus wallichiana] has needles in fasicles of 5, whereas in the Chilgoza Pine [Pinus gerardiana] it is in fasicles of 3. Would be interesting to know the configuration of the needles of your tree.

I would like to clarify one more point that In India Pinus gerardiana (Chilgoza pine) is distributed only in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Jammu & Kashmir. So far no population of Chilgoza pine is recorded in Uttrakhand.
Since I am working in this part of Himalayas I am sure that the photo of … is Pinus wallichiana which is called as Blue pine. Looking at the general appearance of the tree I am sure it is Blue pine. As pointed out by …, Blue pine has needles in fasicles of 5 where as in Chilgoza pine it is 3 needles.

May I add a little something here: Apparently, the Blue Pine was a
common tree and the original pine tree in areas around
Ranikhet-Nainital in Uttaranchal. Gradually, over a period of time
these original trees disappeared and were replaced by Chir Pines by the British. Is this correct, …?

I have been seeing Chir Pines in Ranikhet for last so many years.
Atleast that is what was told to us by local people.

Both species occur in Himalayas. Chir Pine (Pinus roxburghii) is a tree in lower Himalayas (elevation from 800m to 1900m). Chir pine plantations were raised by Britishers mainly to obtain resin. The forests of Chirpine are dry and more prone to fire.
While Blue pine (Pinus wallichiana) starts from 1800m elevation to 2500m or above also. Blue pine occurs in slightly wet areas or moist areas. Hence fire occurence is less in Blue pine forests.

Which is the pine commonly seen in the Kodai and Ooty areas?

I think the pines in Kodaikkanal and Ooty are planted by Britishers and they are exotic. The flora of Palni Hills by Fr.KM Matthew may give some idea.


Pinus wallichiana from Kashmir – efloraofindia | Google Groups : 3 images.
Pinus wallichiana from Kashmir, this temperate species with 5 needles in a spur is common in the valley. Photographed from Gulmarg on June 20, 2010. 

Pinus wallichiana common names:

English: Himalayan Blue Pine
Hindi: Kail
Kashmir: Yari, Kiyur, Kail
H.P: Lim
Kumaon: Raisalla, Lamshing, Byans, Dolchilla
Lepcha: Neet Kung
Bhutan: Tongschi, Lamshing
Trade: Blue pine, Kail


Pine Tree for ID : 021011 : AK-2:
Taken at Pahalgam, Kashmir on the 7th of Sept, 2011.
Pahalgam is at a height of 2740 metres above sea level.
Is this Chir Pine?

Looks like Pinus wallichiana, but for confirmation no of Needles and size of cone etc required

Yes Pinus wallichiana

Thanks for the suggested id. …, thanks for confirming the id….I am banking on you for all my Kashmir flowers.

Cones are unmistakable, P. wallichiana

I am in agreement with … that this is Pinus wallichiana – the shape of cones of P.roxburghii are very different, ovoid-conical.


Pine Tree for ID : 031011 : AK-2:
These pictures were taken on way to Pahalgam on the 6th of Sept, after leaving Patni Top. Could be the same as the one posted earlier or different species of Pine.

Pinus wallichiana

That was too quick reply!! Many thanks for the id.
All the Pine trees seen by me were told to be Chir Pine….So I am confused. Who can be a better authority than you?

Yes, these images seem to be of Pinus wallichiana – NOT P.roxburghii which has ovoid-conical cones.


Gymnosperms fortnight :: Pinaceae: Pinus wallichiana from Paddar valley SKR01 : Attachments (1). 3 posts by 3 authors.
Pinus wallichiana from Paddar valley Jammu and Kashmir.

Nice image … Is there any way you can tell the age of the cone (approx.) from a distance?

Yes, Nice photograph

Yes, this is Pinus wallichiana – they are mature (second-year) cones.  I shall be posting images of first-year, green (immature) cones shortly.


GYMNOSPERMS FORTNIGHT :: Pinus wallichiana? from Shimla-NS 15 : Attachments (2). 3 posts by 2 authors.
This single image was shot at Shimla.. though this is a distant shot, this looks like a Pinus sp.
Can this be P. wallichiana?? Please suggest..
Second image shows the resin tapping from a Pine tree

Yes P. wallichiana
Cones are longer, more leathery (less woody) as compared to P. roxburghii

Thank you very much again Sir.. for validation and additional information…

I am in agreement with … that these are Pinus wallichiana

Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jacks.,
Usually found at altitudes above 1500 m in Himalayas;
leaves 5 in a cluster, up to 20 cm long; female cones up to 30 cm long, drooping, leathery.
Photographed from Kashmir.

Not being a close-up, the final image is a bit confusing but must surely come within P.wallichiana.

Attached are pictures of a plant captured at Kharapatthar, Himachal Pradesh in May 2010.
Requested to please provide ID. 

Seems a sapling of Pinus wallichiana, the Blue Pine.

Thank you … for ID…

Please, on future occasions, take close-ups of the foliage – especially if there are no cones to observe.  Such close-ups would readily show the number of needles per cluster.  In P.wallichiana they come in clusters of 5; whereas in P.roxburghii they are in 3s.


HP, Oct 2014 :: Requesting ID – Pine :: ARKNOV-70 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5).
Requesting to please provide ID of this pine captured near Manali, HP in October 2014.

Pinus wallichianaKail, Blue pine

Attaching a cropped version of the 3rd pic above. Are these the new cones?
Attachments (1)

Yes, this is Pinus wallichiana. I will post some nice shots I took of this tree at the bottom of the Rohtang.   When by road from Chandigarh to Manali, one encounters P.roxburghii forest in the Siwalik Hills.


Pinus wallichiana/ABFEB11 : 1 post by 1 author.

This is another of our Pines. It has superior wood (kail in local language), superior resin with a beautiful strong aroma (stronger smelling than Chir) and has longer distinctive cones (not as woody as the Chir).
One can recognise it by a slightly bluish tinge to its needles which are connected to the stack in bunches of five (as opposed to Chir, which has needles in threes) without any sheath at the common joint. The bark is also less serrated and the ridges are shallow (closer in appearance to a cedar bark).
I hope the following photos clearly delineate the differences between Pinus roxburghii and Pinus wallichinana.
Both pine species are very useful to trekkers. The resin burns well and can be used to make a makeshift candle in a pinch. The resin can also be rubbed on shoes/clothes/tent to give a waterproof layer. Cones and dry needles are excellent fire starters too for a cold traveller looking to make a bonfire.
Himalayan Blue Pine (Pinus wallichiana)
Mcleodganj, Dharamshala,
23 February 2015
The shorter needles in a clump of five are from the Himalayan Blue Pine:
Notice the absent sheath on the joint of needles from the Blue Pine:

A couple of days before I picked up this Blue Pine cone, which is the largest I have seen on the ground. It measured about 11 inches without the peduncle. I am sharing some photos here.

Pinus wallichiana (Himalayan Blue Pine)
Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
06 January 2016.

A pair of winged seeds still attached:

Lower scales coated in resin:

Pinus wallichiana ATJUNE2016/13 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Male cones of Pinus wallichiana
April 2014


Pine Species For ID : Srinagar : 15JUN16 : AK-23 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)
Pine Species seen in a Botanical Garden in Srinagar on the 24th April. 

Its Pinus wallichiana, in Uttarakand it is known as kail.

Thanks for your quick response and id to my post. Now I recollect having posted it earlier from Pahalgam.

Yes, this is Pinus wallichiana.  I shall be posting some images of close-ups of the first year cones of a specimen of this species at the UBG, Srinagar – which are green (immature).  The first two images here show second-year cones (mature).

Was this in the Nehru Botanical Garden?

Yes, it was seen in Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden in Srinagar.

Pinus wallichiana AT NOV 2016/10 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Pinus wallichiana
Himalayan Blue Pine
Theog (30km from Shimla, towards Rampur) H.P.
October 2016

Attachments (1)

Nice shot of second-year (mature) cones of Pinus wallichiana.

Here with some photos taken by my eldest son during a visit to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx – not to be mistaken for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, of me beside a fine specimen of Pinus wallichiana – I do not know the provenance.
It was a VERY bright day, so tough for a camera to expose adequately for the dark foliage and my pale blue shirt.
The herbarium at the New York Botanic Garden has one of the best collections of pressed specimens of NW Himalayan flora (after that at Ann Arbor, University of Michigan).  Dr Ralph Stewart, author of ‘An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Pakistan & Kashmir’, donated
duplicate pressed specimens here and often spent time identifying specimens here.  There are also specimens collected by Dr Walter Koelz and Thakur Rup Chand especially from Kulu Valley and Lahaul.

Fwd: First year cones of Pinus wallichiana in UBG, Kashmir : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (2)

A couple of images snapped in the University Botanic Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir of first year green (immature) cones of Pinus wallichiana.
I will look other images I have of this pine as there appears to have been some confusion with P.roxburghii.
Have shots taken in the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx.
Flowers of the Himalaya calls this the ‘Himalayan Blue Pine’. I have seen this from Kashmir right through to Bhutan. This guide gives a distribution of Afghanistan to S.E.Tibet forming forests in drier areas over a wide range of altitudes, also found in wet areas in secondary forest. 1800-4300m.
Stewart said that the ‘Blue Pine’ as he called it was abundant from Chitral eastward from 1500-3750m. It often begins at the upper limit of the ‘Chir Pine’ and like it and the ‘Deodar’ is of very great economic importance.
Collet in ‘Flora Simlensis’ knew it as Pinus excelsa – there is a good line drawing of its cone and 5 needles in a bundle; this work also has a line drawing of the cone of P.roxburghii (which he knew as P.longifolia) and its 3 needles per bundle.  The local name of P.wallichiana was ‘Kail’.
Flora of Bhutan records this tree as common in Bhutan itself; in Sikkim it forms extensive pure stands in dry inner valleys and also as scattered trees in moister temperate mixed forests; often cultivated; 1700-3300m.
An important timber tree much used in house and dzong construction.  Regenerates vigorously and colonises fallow ground and scrub. Apparently there is a Pinus bhutanica, which is similar to P.wallichiana.

A selection of images of P.wallichiana growing in a miniature Arboretum called the Langley Park Pinetum in the county of Buckinghamshire not far from Pinewood Studios (home to James Bond and many other films).
Note the cones encrusted with resin – as I have seen in the Himalaya.
In the UK this tree is known as the ‘Bhutan Pine’.  The first record of introduction to UK dates back to 1823.  Amusingly its distribution in ‘A Field Guide to TREES of Britain and Northern Europe’ by the Late Alan Mitchell (1974) is given as Afghanistan to Nepal (given that Bhutan is to the East of Nepal this makes no sense) but it certainly does grow in Bhutan as well.
It is quite common in large gardens in the UK, often in town parks and some private gardens which are big enough to accommodate such a large tree.  I have seen several specimens growing in Slough, the largest town where I live.
I encourage photographers in this group to photograph the bark of trees (see the final 3 attached images) – which is often characteristic,
helping with identification when there are no flowers or fruits visible and during winter months for deciduous trees.
Mitchell describes the bark of P.wallichiana as very shallow fissures of orange- or pink-brown between small grey ridges; rather oak-like.
He says that flowering occurs from the eighth year of growth.  Female flowers 1-2 on 3-4cm stalks like clubs at ends of shoots, erect, pinkish, 2.5cm in FIRST YEAR; SECOND YEAR become cones, hanging and banana-like, dark blue-grey and green, encrusted in resin, clear or white; MATURE cones become woody, dark brown, white-resined, curved, cylinders 20-30cm, opening to 10cm across.
So strictly-speaking my description of ‘first year’ and ‘second year’ cones in previous postings is incorrect but sort of valid in terms of first and then ‘mature’ ‘cones’ as far as we understand full cones to be.
Mitchell describes the foliage and crown plus flowers and cone in MUCH greater detail than the BRIEF summaries within ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ and the assorted ‘floras’ I have seen covering the Himalaya.
P.wallichiana is the only pine from the Himalaya covered in this book.  P.roxburghii would be tender (i.e. not hardy enough to survive outside in most parts of the UK) whilst P. gerardiana is very little known in cultivation.
Alan Mitchell was a well-known authority on trees travelling around the country recording and measuring them (both height and girth).
He says that growth of P.wallichiana in cultivation in the UK is fast when young – 28m in 40 years in known; later growth in girth is very slow when height growth ends.  Ultimate age of this pine in UK is likely to be about 150 years.
Just goes to show the amount of knowledge that has accumulated about Himalayan flora as a result of its cultivation in UK gardens – which can be utilised when studying and conserving the flora in coming years.
I think it is time I posted images of Cedrus deodara growing in  the UK and North America.
There are good colour paintings of the foliage and a cone of this pine in Mitchell’s book.



Pinus wallichiana AT MAR 2017/22 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Pinus wallichiana
Himalayan Blue Pine, Kail
Females cones at different stages of growth
August 2016


Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jacks. : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5)

Location: Tukuche, Mustang, Nepal
Date: 12 April  2017
Altitude: 8500 ft.
Nepali Names : गोब्रे सल्ला Gobre Sallaa / रानी सल्ला Raanee Sallaa

Pinus wallichiana A.B.Jacks.: 2 very high res. images.

Location: Humla, Simikot,  Nepal
Altitude:  3200m.
Date: 10 June 1022

Habit : Wild 



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