The stone pine (Pinus pinea) belongs to the Pinaceae (the Pine family). It is a tall evergreen tree that is native to the Mediterranean region, Southern Europe, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. This tree grows in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrubs, and can reach 12-20 m in height. It is a bushy globe in youth, it will form a broad and flat crown over 8 m in width in maturity. The bark is thick, red-brown and deeply fissured into broad vertical plates. The leaves are needle-like, flexible and mid-green, in bundles of two, and are 10-20 cm long. The cones are broad, ovate, 8-15 cm long, and take 36 months to mature, longer than any other pine. The stone pine has been cultivated extensively for at least 6,000 years for its edible pine nuts.