Pinus roxburghii Sarg.

Long-leaved Indian Pine, Chir Pine

Pinus longifolia

Pinus longifolia (= syn.)

Photo credit: Original from Descr. Pinus courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library - (provided by Missouri Botanical Garden) modified to provide labels.

Family: Pinaceae

Genus: Pinus

Category: Tree - Evergreen

Zones: ? 8+

Size: 100'+ tall trunk to 4' in diameter

Exposure: Sun


Leaves in 3s to 14" long, light screen, scale-like. Cones to 8" long on short fat stalks. Thick, deeply furrowed bark. Round-topped open head.

From Silva (Sargent) It produces moderately hard and strong easily worked yellow or red-brown resinous wood, which, although not durable, is largely used in many of the northern districts of India in construction, for shingles and tea-chests, and in the manufacture of charcoal. This tree furnishes the largest part of the resin produced in India; it is obtained by making triangular-shaped incisions or cups in the trunk, or by stripping off the bark, the usual product from an average sized tree being from ten to twenty pounds in the first year and about one third as much in the second year, after which the tree generally dies. Tar is obtained by the slow combustion of chips of the resinous wood in earthen pots closed and covered with wet soil; dried cow-dung is used as fuel, and the tar, running through holes in the bottom of the pot, flows into a second jar buried in the ground below it. Spirits of turpentine is distilled in some of the northwest provinces from the crude turpentine yielded by this tree (Pharmacographia Indica, vi. 378). Pieces of the wood of stumps of trees which have been worked for turpentine are used for torches, and as candles in houses and mines. The bark contains considerable quantities of tannin identical with that of oak bark, and is used in India in tanning leather, and as fuel in smelting iron (Bastin & Trimble, Am. Jour. Pharm. lxviii. 139). Charcoal made from the leaves mixed with rice water serves as a substitute for ink ; and the seeds are edible, sometimes furnishing in times of famine an important supply of food (Brandis, Forest Fl. Brit. Ind. 506. - Gamble, Man. Indian Timbers, 396. - Balfour, Encyclopcedia of India, ed. 3, iii. 221).


Native to the Himalayas. Introduced in 1807.

Published in Silva (Sargent) 11: 9 in 1897. Pinus Roxburghii is cultivated on the plains of northern India, but it has not proved hardy in Europe except in exceptionally favorable positions, or in the eastern United States; and it is rarely seen in the gardens of temperate countries.

Named for William Roxburgh, known as the "Father of Indian Botany."

Synonym: Pinus longifolia Roxb. - also published in Desc. Pinus


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner