Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pinus torreyana - Torrey Pine

Pinus torreyana: Pinus is the Latin name for P. pinea; torreyana, named for John Torrey, an American botanist, after whom the coniferous genus Torreya is also named.

Compare to P. coulteri and P. sabiniana.

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.

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