seeds of Pinus tabuliformis, Manchurian Red Pine
Pinus tabuliformis, also known as the Manchurian red pine, is a tree species belonging to the family Pinaceae. The tree’s synonyms include Pinus densata, Pinus densiflora, and Pinus sinensis. Other common names for the plant include Chinese red pine and Chinese pine. The tree’s native range extends from Northern China to Mongolia and into Korea. Pinus tabuliformis can grow to a height of 20 to 30 metres. The plant derives its name from its flat-topped, table-like crest hence “table form.” The bark is grey-brown and fissured. Leaves are needle-like, glossy, greyish-green, and grow in sets of two. The needles have a length of 10 to 17 cm and a width of 1.5 mm. The cones are brown, scaly, egg-shaped, and have a length of 4 to 6 cm. Seeds have a wing 15 to 20 mm long and have a length of 6 to 7 mm. Pinus tabuliformis provides high quality wood that is ideal for construction, the making of furniture, bridge building and flooring purposes. The tree is also a rich source of resins which are instrumental in the synthesising of vanilla flavouring. The needles, on the other hand, are a good source of both tannins and a green dye. The provision of tannins also extends to the bark which contains most of the tree’s deposits. The tree trunk contains oleo-resins which once distilled produce turpentine and rosin. Turpentine is a valuable raw material in the manufacture of varnish and paints. The manufacture of varnish also requires rosin as a raw material. Moreover, rosin is useful in the making of sealing wax and the bow used in violin playing. The pitch extracted from the rosinn has waterproofing properties which are valuable in preserving wood. Pinus tabuliformis has a robust, extensive root system which binds the soil and significantly minimises soil erosion.
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