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- SE Virginia southward to S Florida
- Florida westward to E Texas
- E Texas to north central Alabama
- North central Alabama eastward to SE Virginia
Longleaf pine is typically found in dry sandy areas of the coastal plains and sand hills, but grows up in some of the mountains of Alabama and western Georgia. Young trees form a large tuft of foliage called the “grass stage” before growing upward. In the spring, the elongated buds look like white “candles” before the new leaves develop. The leaves are bright green, often a foot in length, and are grouped in 3s. The purplish male (pollen) cones are about 2 inches long and develop in clusters in the spring, releasing large quantities of wind-blown pollen. The female (seed) cones may be 8 or more inches long. Longleaf pine has both the longest needles and the largest seed cones of all conifers of the eastern US.