The stone pine (Pinus pinea) is one of the most beautiful trees of the Portuguese flora. The species, distributed throughout the Mediterranean, occurs in almost all Portuguese provinces, preferably near the ocean and rivers, except in the very dry interior.
The trees can reach 20 meters in height and live for many years. The oval-round treetop, the reddish-grey trunk and the dark-green permanent leaves give this tree a decisive role in the aesthetics of the Mediterranean and Portuguese landscapes, especially when in organized settlements (which has been increasing for the use of pine nuts, delicious…).
Some years ago, in 2010, while walking through the Portuguese Extremadura on a glorious, very late afternoon in February, with the sun setting, I was surprised by the red sunlight hitting this large stone pine. The trunk, already reddish-grey, appeared orange-red in colour. Seen from below, the large canopy, with its trunk with many branches, contrasted with the blue of the completely clear sky. A wonderful view...
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor