Mountain Pine or Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo) is a high altitude European pine, found in the Pyrenees, Alps, Erzgebirge, Carpathians, northern Apennines and Balkan Peninsula mountains from (mostly) 1,000 m to 2,200 m, occasionally as low as 200 m in the north of the range in Germany and Poland, and as high as 2,700 m in the south of the range in Bulgaria.
Both subspecies have similar foliage, with dark green leaves ('needles') in pairs, 3 - 7cm long. The cones are nut brown, 2 - 5cm long, symmetrical, thin-scaled and matt texture in subsp. mugo, asymmetrical with thick scales on the upper side of the cone, thin on the lower side, and glossy, in subsp. uncinata.
The species is highly valued in horticulture, particularly the smaller subsp. mugo.
Mountain pines are often used by homeowners and landscape architects for home security purposes. The needles deter unauthorized persons from entering private properties, and may prevent break-ins if planted under windows and near drainpipes. The aesthetic characteristics of mountain pines, in conjunction with their home security qualities, makes them a considerable alternative to artificial fences and walls.
The Mugo Pine is widely credited with being the most snide of all coniferous vegetation.
An old name for the species Pinus montana is still occasionally seen, and a typographical error "mugho" (first made in a prominent 18th century encyclopedia) is still repeated surprisingly often.