Western Yellow Pine
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen, large, 80 to 140 ft (24-43 m) high, straight crown, open, spreading branches. Bark purplish-brown, thick, furrowed into narrow, scaly plates. The crushed twigs have a pleasant odor; some liken the scent to lemons and vanilla, others to violets, pineapple, or apples. Needles are in bundles of 3, occasionally 2, 5 to 11 inches (13-28 cm) long, dark blue-green, often twisted, persisting 5 to 8 years. Female cones, large, 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm) long, conical or egg-shaped, almost stalkless, cone scales have a prominent recurved prickle or J-shaped prickle. They point more or less inward, thus there is minimum discomfort when a cone is rolled between the hands; "gentle jeffery" in contrast to "prickly ponderosa".
- Sun. Best in well-drained, gravelly to sandy, moist soil.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 6 Native to south-central Cascade Mountains in Oregon, southward through the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and extreme western Nevada, also found in northern Baja California.
- Often confused with Pinus ponderosa; here some characteristics to help distinguish between the two species.
- Can you identify these more common Oregon native 2-, 3-, and 5-needle pines?
- jeffreyi: after John Jeffrey, Scottish botanical explorer who collected seeds and plants in Oregon and California for introduction into Scotland.