Limber Pine

Pinus flexilis

Photoe: 2009 Ryan Gilmore (Calphotos)

Family:
Pine (Pinaceae)
Size:
Small, 30' – 50', 15" – 24" diameter; max. 85' by 7'
Age:
Slow grower, matures 200-300 years
Bark:
Smooth silvery white to light gray or greenish gray on young stems; old trunks dark brown to nearly black with deep fissures, scaly plates
Needles:
In 5's, about 2 ½"; clustered near the branch ends; dark green, stout, rigid
Cones:
3"-10" long, cylindrical; scales thickened; similar to sugar pine cone but small, lighter in color
Elevation:
8000' – 11,800' in southern CA
Comments:
First observed by Dr. Edwin James, an army surgeon, near Pike’s Peak, CO, in 1820. Generally, a high altitude tree of importance in protecting watersheds. A short, stout tree with plume-like, drooping branches which often touch the ground. Grows in dry, rocky, shallow or gravelly soils. Found on windblown ridges “hugging” the rocks.
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