Pinon pine

The pinyon (or piñon) pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which were a staple of the Native Americans, and are still widely eaten. The wood, especially when burned, has a distinctive fragrance. The pinyon pine trees are also known to influence the soil in which they grow.[1]

Some of the species are known to hybridise, the most notable ones being P. quadrifolia with P. monophylla, and P. edulis with P. monophylla.

The Pinyon Jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) takes its name from the tree, and pinyon nuts form an important part of its diet. It is very important for regeneration of pinyon woods, as it stores large numbers of the seeds in the ground for later use, and excess seeds not used are in an ideal position to grow into new trees. The Mexican Jay is also important for the dispersal of some pinyon species, as, less often, is the Clark's Nutcracker. Many other species of animal also eat pinyon nuts, without dispersing them.


Genetic differentiation in the pinyon pine has been observed associated to insect herbivory and environmental stress.[2][3]

There are eight species of true pinyons (Pinus subsection Cembroides):[4]

These additional Mexican species are also related and mostly called pinyons:

The three bristlecone pine species of the high mountains of the southwestern United States, and the lacebark pines of Asia are closely related to the pinyon pines..

See also

  • Pinus classification


External links

  • Pine classification
  • Arboretum de Villardebelle Images of the cones of all the pinyons and allied pines
  • Pinus monophylla U.S. Forest Service
  • Pinus cembroides U.S. Forest Service
  • Pinus quadrifolia U.S. Forest Service
  • Pinus edulis U.S. Forest Service

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