Monographs Details: Pinus caribaea Morelet var. caribaea
Authority: Farjon, Aljos K. & Styles, Brian T. 1997. Pinus (Pinaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 75: 1-291. (Published by NYBG Press)
Synonyms:Pinus recurvata Rowlee, Pinus cubensis var. anomala Rowlee
Description:Variety Description - Tree, medium to tall, height to 20-35(-45) m, dbh to 60-100 cm. Fascicle sheaths 15-20 mm long, retaining their length at maturity; the scales papery, with erose-ciliate margins, yellowish brown, turning dark red-brown or grey-black. Leaves in fascicles of 3(-4), very rarely 2 or 5, spreading, straight, (slightly) twisted, rigid, (13-) 15-26 cm X (1.2-) 1.4-1.8 mm, light or dark green, more or less lustrous. Stomata on all faces of leaves, in 8-11 lines on the convex abaxial face and 4-6 lines on each adaxial face. Seed cones (4-)5-10(-12) X (3-)4-6(-7) cm when open. Seed scales ca. 120-170, more or less thin woody. Apophysis slightly raised or nearly flat on basal scales, rhombic to pentagonal in outline, ochraceous or light brown, lustrous. Umbo dorsal, flat or slightly raised. Cotyledons (4-)6-7 (-9), 12-25 mm long. Seedlings with an elongated stem, primary leaves green, more or less ascending, soon replaced by secondary leaves.

Discussion:Remarks on the species. Morelet (1851) described this species as one of two new pines from the Isla de la Juventud, Cuba, with rather small (ca. 6 cm) cones but otherwise giving an adequate description of its characters. Although Morelet’s Cuban collections were deposited at P, no original material of P. caribaea could be found there. Lückhoff (1964) designated a neotype from Santa Barbara on Isla de la Juventud.

Probably due to the obscurity of Morelet’s publication in regional horticultural (1851) and natural history (1855) periodicals, the name Pinus caribaea has been erroneously taken up for the slash pine of the SE United States, R elliottii Engelm. (e.g., de Vail, 1941), a closely related, but nevertheless distinct species. Subsequently, Loock (1950) compared the Mesoamerican (Belize) populations of P. caribaea with P. caribaea from the United States, not from Cuba or Isla de la Juventud. He concluded that the pines in Belize show . . . some distinct botanical differences, which are considered important enough to warrant the separation of the Belize plants from P. caribaea, Morelet, under the name, P. hondurensis" One can hold the view, as Shaw (1914) did, that there is just one species incorporating populations from SE United States to Mesoamerica, but such a broad concept is not now generally accepted. The pines from Isla de la Juventud, for lack of a holotype specimen, are as near as we can get to a reference point for Morelet's Pinus caribaea.

Distribution and Ecology: W Cuba: Pinar del Rio, Isla de la Juventud (Isla de Pinos). Forming pure, open, dry fire-climax forest or open woodland with undergrowth of grasses or scattered shrubs on sandy or gravelly, well-drained, acidic soils. Altitudinal range from 1-700 m, with most extensive stands below 400 m. The growing is season continuous in a warm tropical climate with long dry spells. Annual precipitation varies mainly with altitude, ca. 1000-1800 mm, with a winter dry season. Frost does not occur.

Phenology: Pollen dispersal is in January and February.
Distribution:Cuba South America| Isla de la Juventud Cuba South America| Piñar del Río Cuba South America|