Pinus attenuata Pinaceae
Knobcone Pine PI-nus at-ten-u-a-TA
- Conifer, evergreen, small-medium, 30-50(70) ft [14-15(21) m] high, rapid growing, narrow pointed crown, often with 2-3 trunks, nearly horizontal branches turned up at the end, becoming irregular with age, abundant cones. Bark gary and smooth, later dark gray, fissured into scaly ridges. Needles are in bundles of 3, 7.5-18 cm long, slender and flexible, green or yellow-green. Female cones, 8 to 15 cm long, ovoid-conic, yellowish-brown, asymmetrical at the base, curved, scales on the exposed convex side have raised, knob-like projections, scales on the inner or stem side are more or less flat, in clusters of 3 to 6, or more than double this, not near ends of branches. The cones are closed for years, even 30, and if fact they may become embedded within the expanding branch or trunk. Knobcone pine has been called the "tree that swallows its cones". The heat of a fire causes the cones open and shed their seeds. Numerous seedlings then begin a new forest.
- Sun. Best in well-drained, gravelly to sandy, moist soil.
Not used often in landscaping, but interesting in naturalized settings.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native from Oregon's McKenzie River south through the Klamath, Cascade, and Coast ranges and the Sierra Nevada and south in widely discontinuous populations to near Encinada, Baja California. Found at elevations between sea level and 5,500 feet (1,700 m).
- attenuata: slenderly tapering
- Oregon State Univ., Peavy Arboretum.