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Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis)
Evergreen Trees (Conifers), Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Two-needle Pinyon Pine

General: Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis) is a coniferous (cone-bearing) tree with round needles that radiate in all directions from the twigs. The cones are egg-shaped and 2- to 3-inches long. This species can be recognized by the needles, which are set in bundles of two (other pines have bundles of 1, 3, or 5 needles).

The Two-needle Pinyon Pine is a common component of the montane vegetation in the Upper Sonoran (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone in Zion and the Grand Canyon and other places north and east. This species is common, but not immediately around Las Vegas.

Family: Pine (Pinaceae).

Other Names: Colorado Pinyon.

Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis)
Two needles in a bundle

Plant Form: Short, spreading tree with a rounded crown.

Height: To 45 feet tall.

Trunk: To 2 feet in diameter.

Bark: Thin, gray to reddish brown, furrowed into scaly ridges.

Branches: Many long, twisting branches that give the tree a rounded appearance.

Needles: Bundles of 2; 1 to 2-1/2 inches long; blue-green, aging to yellow-green; slightly curved towards branches.

Cones: Erect; 1- to 3-inches long; oval; green, aging to light brown; scales thick, blunt.

Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis)
Mature (lower left) and old cones

Seeds: Pairs of seeds held under each cone scale.

Habitat: Upper bajadas and rocky mountains.

Elevation: 4,000 to 9,000 feet.

Distribution: Northern Arizona, southern Utah, eastward into Colorado and New Mexico. A disjunct population also occurs in the New York Mountains in California (Mojave National Preserve).

Comments: This is the common pinyon pine in Zion and the Grand Canyon. This species might hybridize with Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla).

Two-needle Pinyon Pine Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis)
Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis) more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 141116

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