Pinus mugo or pinus uncinata?

I create this topic conversation because I find and I must not be the only one (, that it is difficult to distinguish the difference between Pinus uncinata and P.mugo, especially between their subsp ( Pinus mugo subsp. mugo, Pinus mugo subsp uncinata, or also Pinus uncinata subsp uncinata…). The documentation on this topic (on web or in the flora) isn’t clear.

I’m throwing a bottle into the sea, I’m launching a debate to get some answers, some details on the differences between Pinus mugo and P.uncinata subsp.

Thanks for your expertise naturalist !

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That’s a good question, and it’s true that it’s not easy to distinguish between them (I also have trouble telling the species apart).

I believe that Pinus uncinata and Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata are in fact the same species (at least according to GBif.

According to InfoFlora (the reference site for the flora of Switzerland), Pinus mugo subsp. mugo differs from P. mugo subsp. uncinata by its recumbent habit, rarely exceeding 5m. in height, whereas P. mugo subsp. uncinata could grow up to 25 m. in height (depending on the environment in which it lives of course). I think the difference is mainly in the escutcheons (upper part of a pine cone scale, I don’t know if it is the appropriate name for this part): P. mugo subsp. uncinata has a protruding escutcheon curved into a hook (hence its French name “pin à crochets” = “hooked pine”). P. mugo subsp. mugo has a fairly flat escutcheon without a hook.
However, I don’t know P. uncinata subsp. uncinata and therefore I can’t give any advice.

I hope this message helps you!

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