Pinus contorta var. latifolia Pinaceae
Lodgepole Pine PI-nus kon-TOR-ta lat-i-FO-le-a
- Conifer, evergreen tree, 110 ft (30 m), columnar, especially when in tight stands. Bark reddish-brown. Two needles per bundle (fascicle), green to yellow green, 4-6 cm long, commonly twisted, persists 4-8 years, sheath persistent. Cones 2-5 cm long, egg-shaped, oblique, armed with deciduous prickles, stalkless, or nearly so, frequently point "backwards" toward the base of the branch.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (Much more hardy than coastal form) One of the most widely distributed pines in the western hemisphere, extending from Alaska south to Mexico and east through the Rocky Mountains to South Dakota. Another form, P. c. var. contorta (Shore Pine), has a rounded shape and does not grow as tall, to about 50 ft (15 m), it is found along the Pacific coast, from Alaska to northern California. A third form, P. c. var. murrayana (Sierra Lodgepole Pine) is also recognized by some authorities.
- Shore and Lodgepole pine are the only pines native to the Pacific Northwest that have short needles in bundles of two.
- latifolia: wide, broad
- Lodgepole: native peoples prized the lodgepole for making supports for teepees, lodges and other buildings, and poles for a travois (the trailing pole frame pulled by a horse or dog).
- The Provincial Tree of Alberta