BlueBell Nursery - Conifers - Pinus - Pinus bungeana

Pinus bungeana
Pinus bungeana
Pinus bungeana
Please click on the images to view larger photos


A lovely rare Chinese pine, Pinus bungeana has cream, charcoal and grey patterned bark on mature specimens and needles which are very dark green in colour. There are remarkable examples of this slow-growing pine throughout Northern & Eastern China with fine specimen trees in the Forbidden City.

Pinus bungeana is a beautiful tree with some of the best ornamental bark available once established. However please bear in mind that it is exceptionally slow growing for at least the first ten years or so and therefore only  suitable for a patient gardener!

Supplied Size: Young seedling plants growing on the nursery will be ready at some point..... It is a plant which cannot be rushed.

  • Position: Full sun.
  • Soil: Well drained, fertile soil.
  • Hardiness: Hardy.
  • Rate of Growth: Very slow.
  • Habit: Pinus bungeana eventually grows to be a medium sized, branching tree.
    • Height: up to 15 m (50 ft) in the U.K.
    • Spread: 10 m (32 ft).
  • Notes: Of all the plants we offer, Pinus bungeana has perhaps, the most exquisite bark, but it can take many years to develop fully (at least 10 years). A specimen in our own garden has reached a height of 2.5 m (8 ft) after 14 years.

Further Information

Of all the trees planted in our arboretum this will be the slowest to mature, but in many years time will perhaps rank as the most lovely. It often grows as a multi-stemmed tree and has breathtaking bark which becomes a marbled patchwork of grey-green, white, yellow, purple, brown and green when mature.

Pinus bungeana was first described in the west by Dr. Bunge in 1831 who found it planted round Buddhist Temples near Beijing. It grows wild in the mountains west of Beijing and southwards to Hupeh. Robert Fortune introduced it to the west in 1846. He later collected large quantities of seed and in 1864 advertised seed in the Gardener's Chronicle at 25 shillings an ounce, (£1.25p).

Although perfectly hardy in Britain it is very slow growing and prefers a warm site. The photograph above is of the bark of a beautiful old specimen growing in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew that is now about 50 feet high. Very old plants in China may reach 80 feet or so.


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