Scientific Name: Pinus discolor
Synonyms: Pinus cembroides, P. culminicola var. discolor
Common Name: Border Pinyon
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen
Growth Habit: Tree
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Upland (higher elevation), Mountain. This pine tree commonly grows in grassy pinyon-juniper woodlands.
Flower Color: Non-flowering
Height: 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 m) tall
Description: The needles are typically 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long, in bundles of 3, dull green, lined with silver, and clustered near the branch tips. The pollen cones are small and yellow. The seed cones have thick, red-brown scales and when fully open, the cones resemble woody, brown roses. The seeds are brown, wingless, and very popular with birds and animals. The bark is brown and rough in older trees. The trees are monoecious and have a rounded growth form.
The similar Mexican Pinyon (Pinus cembroides) is not found in Arizona. Pinus discolor was formerly classified as Pinus cembroides, but it was reclassified as a separate species.
Edible – The seeds, known as pine nuts or pinyon nuts, are edible either raw or toasted. The cones mature in the fall of their second year.
Fragrant – The leaves and sap have a pleasant, resinous, pine smell.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Coniferophyta – Conifers
Family: Pinaceae – Pine family
Genus: Pinus L. – pine
Species: Pinus discolor D.K. Bailey & Hawksw. – border pinyon
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