Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Pinus aristata (Bristle Cone Pine)



 Plantae Plants


 Tracheobionta Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta Seed plants


 Coniferophyta Conifers






 Pinaceae Pine family


 Pinus L. pine


 Pinus aristata Engelm. bristlecone pine

This magnificent pine is included with the northwest natives, although it naturally occurs just outside the northwest, high in the mountains of Colorado and Arizona.

It is hardy to USDA zone 4, thriving in full sun and rocky soil where it is unaffected by drought or wind.

This extremely slow-growing tree reaches 30 and often develops multiple stems and delightful, contorted shapes. Some speculate that these fine trees live "forever" and indeed some have reached 5,000 years.

This white pine has five 1 needles, continually covered with white resin dots.

The cones are 3 long with purple hues and very sharp scales.

This small tree lends itself well to small gardens and bonsai and, because it rarely looses its needles, it makes an excellent potted plant or Christmas tree.

Photo at left from the U.S. Forest Service

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