Native to the San Diego coast of southern California. Rarely cultivated, but adapts well to inland or high desert conditions, tolerating heat and moderate drought.
Growth rate moderate to 40-60' tall by 30-50' wide, developing a broad conical form with stout branches, becoming somewhat irregular or prostrate in windy coastal areas.
Needles are dark bluish to gray-green, 7-11" long, 5-fascicled, clustered in large bunghes at branch tips, persisting 3-4 years.
Needles are similar in length to P. coulteri, but are in fascicles of 5 (vs. 3 for P. coulteri), and P. torreyana's cones are much smaller (see below).
Cones are dark brown 4-6" long, oval with a flat base, attached strongly to branches with a thick, short stem, ripening in summer of the third year. Scales have a thickened triangular apex with short, fat recurving spines. Dark brown seeds 1/2 - 3/4" long are released over a long period of time.
Bark is thick, dark brown, becoming broken into ridges with wide, fattened, reddish brown scales.