Pinus parviflora (Glauca Group)
Common Name: Japanese white pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Deer


Grow in medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a variety of soils types, including poor soils, as long as the drainage is good. Plants prefer cool summer climates and dislike the heat and humidity of the deep South. Plants are generally tolerant of urban conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus parviflora, commonly known as Japanese white pine, is a conical tree that will grow to 50-70’ tall in its native habitat, but is usually seen in the 20-40’ range in cultivation. It is a dense pine that tends to develop spreading branches and a somewhat flattened crown with age. Needles (to 3” long) in bundles of five are an attractive green, with each needle having an interior white stripe. Oval, reddish-brown cones to 4” long. Bark on younger trees is gray, aging to scaly dark gray.

In the U.S., the glaucous or blue-needled versions of this tree (e.g., P. parviflora ‘Glauca’) are popular landscape plants. Green-needled versions of this tree, as found in its native habitat, are both uncommonly found and rarely sold in the U.S. In order to bring more clarity to needle color variation matters, Pinus parviflora (Glauca Group) has now been established to cover the glaucous or blue-needled versions of this tree. P. parviflora ‘Glauca’ has been eliminated as a cultivar with plants now included in Glauca Group.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet means small flowers.


Healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few major problems. These plants may struggle in the St. Louis area where environmental conditions do not favor most conifers.

Garden Uses

Specimen pine.