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This species is treated as a variety of P. tabuliformis in Flora of China (Fu et al. 1999c), and as a subspecies of it by Businský (1999); it is somewhat indistinct, though Farjon (2001, 2005a) maintains it as a full species. It differs from P. tabuliformis in its needles, which are never wider than 1 mm. Also, the cones are smaller (2.5–5 cm long, usually as wide as long when open), with a reflexed peduncle (as in P. sylvestris), and the seed scales have apophyses that are only slightly swollen. Fu et al. 1999c, Farjon 2005a. Distribution CHINA: Hebei, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan. Habitat Mountains between 1100 and 2000 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 6. Conservation status Lower Risk. Illustration NT603.
Pinus henryi was introduced to cultivation in 1996 under the collection number QLG 112 by a NACPEC expedition composed of personnel from several American and Chinese botanical gardens. They found it on a hillside in the Hong Shan, Shaanxi, from which all other trees had been felled, but which had evidently been floristically very rich (collection notes from USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network: USDA/ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2008). Young trees are now growing in American collections and are rather striking in appearance, the new shoots forming ‘foxtails’ of dense, bright green needles. Specimens observed in 2006 at the US National Arboretum and the Morris Arboretum (both participatory in the NACPEC expedition) were 2 and 1.8 m tall respectively, growing vigorously and producing new leaders up to 60 cm long. By late autumn 2007 the USNA specimen had reached 4 m and was coning (R. Olsen, pers. comm. 2007). In maturity trees can be expected to become flat-topped, with a single straight trunk and reddish bark. The species has apparently not yet been introduced to Europe.