Pinus cembra 'Glauca'
Common Name: Swiss stone pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Tolerate: Deer


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils, but prefers sandy loams. Appreciates sites with good air circulation. This pine prefers cool summer climates and is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus cembra, commonly called Swiss stone pine or arolla pine, is native to mountain areas in central Europe from the Alps to the Carpathians. It is a slow-growing, medium-sized pine with a narrow pyramidal shape in its youth, gradually becoming rounded and more open as it matures. It typically grows 30-40’ tall in cultivation, but will grow to 100’ tall in the wild in its native habitat. Soft, dark green to blue green needles (2-5” long) with white stomatic lines appear in bundles of five. Short-stalked, oblong cones (to 2.5” long) are greenish purple when young, maturing to purplish-brown. Cones never open. Cone seeds are edible. The pine nuts consumed as food in Europe primarily come from the stone pines, namely, this species and P. pinea (Italian stone pine).

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet is the Italian name for this plant.

'Glauca' is a very rare cultivar with silvery-white needles (now extinct according to Krussmann) that was first identified in 1866. It is a slow-growing tree that matures over time to 12-20' tall. The origin of trees sold in commerce today as 'Glauca' is unclear. 'Nana Glauca' and 'Nana Compacta' are also being sold.


Healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few significant problems. Swiss stone pine has good resistant to blister rust. Potential disease problems include blights, rots, canker and rusts. Potential insect problems include caterpillars, borers, bark beetles, miners, scale, mealybugs and sawfly.


Narrow compact pine for smaller landscapes. Plant as an accent or in small groups. Columnar form is good for small spaces, foundations and near entrances or doors.