WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris)
Huge cones 6-10 inches long. needles: 8-18 inches in length, 3 per bundle.
Wildlife value: “Longleaf pine forests provide excellent habitat for bobwhite quail, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and fox squirrel. Sixty-eight species of birds utilize longleaf pine forests. Birds, and mice, squirrels, and other small mammals eat the large seeds. Ants eat germinating seeds, and razorback hogs eat the roots of seedlings. Old-growth longleaf pine stands provide nesting habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.” source:
Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://herb.umd.umich.edu/herb/search.pl?searchstring=Pinus
Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3905