Pinus thunbergii, also called black pine, Japanese black pine, and Japanese pine, is a pine native to coastal areas of Japan and South Korea. It is called gomsol in Korean, hēisōng in Chinese, and kuromatsu in Japanese.
In its native range Pinus thunbergii is a 100-foot-tall, umbrella-shaped pine with thick, platy gray-black bark. But, it also occurs in a number of contorted forms where it has an asymmetrical, often twisted and distorted character, making it well suited for ornamental plantings. These forms have been collected and propagated in Japan where more than 40 clones are listed. The selected sorts are usually smaller, seldom exceeding 30 feet in height. Japanese black pine is a two-needle pine with deep green needles four to five inches long that are held in a half inch long silvery band at the base. The needles persist four to five years. The candle shaped terminal buds are to two centimeters long, silvery white in color and a distinctive identifying characteristic of the species. The cones are two to three inches long, ovoid in shape and require two years to mature.