(Pinus cembra L.)
-> Genus: Pinus (Pinus) -> Family: Pinaceae (Pinaceae) -> Group: Gymnosperms


  • a massive tree 20 - 25 m high, crown initially conical, later cylindrical, deeply branched, rounded at the top when older
  • the branches are thick - horizontally distributed
  • the bark is grey-green when young, smooth, it quickly changes to a gray-brown, scaly, cracked bark
  • the only domestic species included in the strobus section (pines with five needles in a bunch)


  • buds 7 - 10 x 5 - 5 mm large, broadly ovoid, pointed, reddish-brown, slightly resinous


  • red-brown, rusty hairy, later grey-black glabrous

Leaves (assimilation organs)

  • needle-like 5 - 10 cm large, triangular in cross-section, pointed, rigid - slightly serrated on the edges, on the inner sides with bands of whitish vents
  • grow in bundles of 5 on brachyblasts
  • from the branch they deviate obliquely to all sides, at the base they are covered with brownish-red scales, which fall off in the first year
  • they last 3-6 years on the branches


  • monoecious tree, unisex flowers, blooms in June to July, depending on altitude
  • ♂ cones are 10-15 mm large, broadly ovoid, sessile, yellow to reddish, more at the base of this year's shoots
  • ♀ cones are approx. 10 mm in size, bluntly conical, short-stalked, purplish-red to purple, they grow upright at the end of this year's shoots of 2-5 in whorls

Fruits – seeds

  • pinecone is upright, 5 - 8 x 3 - 5 cm large, broadly ovoid, blue-violet before ripening, cinnamon-brown after ripening (the navel is moved to the edge of the label)
  • it ripens in autumn (at the end of August) of the second year after pollination
  • it is semi-decomposable - after falling to the ground, the fruit scales open and disintegrate - meaning that the seeds are only released on the ground
  • the seed ("limbo nuts") is 8 - 14 x 6 - 10 mm in size, inverted egg-shaped, wingless, angular with one side arched, dark brown, matte with solid seeds
  • it is spread by rodents and birds - mostly pearl hazel (Nucifraga caryocatactes)


  • limba is a high-altitude tree with a disjointed distribution area
  • there are two centers of its expansion:
    1. Alps (1 600-2 400 m above sea level)
    2. Carpathians (1 400-1 800 m above sea level)
  • In Slovakia, it grows from 900 to 1800 m above sea level. m. in the Western, High and Belianske Tatras individually, or in small groups in interspersed spruce stands together with deciduous larch, mountain ash, white birch, Carpathian birch, ...
  • as a tree, it rises the highest of all our trees - up to the rhododendron zone (1 500 - 1 800 m above sea level)


  • in Slovakia, it grows only in the Tatra region on various geological bases, mostly on deeper clay soils
  • it is demanding on soil and air humidity
  • in European mountains, it is associated with locations with a distinctly continental climate
  • in its environment, it is a very impressive woody plant with a distinctive crown and massive roots that penetrate deep into the cracks


  • wood protected by law!
  • great soil protection and water management importance
  • in the past, it was pushed out of many localities of natural expansion - felled for high-quality wood that was used for furniture production (mainly in the Western Tatras)
  • an ornamental park tree with a massive and densely leafy crown
  • Slovak oldest tree - up to 700 years.

From history