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Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Evergreen Trees (Conifers), Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine
Typical habitat at Red Rock Canyon NCA

General: Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla) 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 single, round needle (other pines have bundles of needles).

In Nevada, Singleleaf Pinyon Pine is a common component of the montane vegetation in all mountain ranges the Upper Sonoran (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone. This is the only pinyon around Las Vegas. To the east in Zion and the Grand Canyon, the Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis) is the common pinyon.

Pinyon Pine
Note the single, undivided needles

Family: Pine (Pinaceae).

Other Names: Pinus californiarum.

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

Height: To 35 feet.

Trunk: To 1.5 feet diameter.

Singleleaf Pinyon Pine
Young female cone

Bark: Smooth when young, aging to dark brown, furrowed into scaly ridges.

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

Needles: Bundles of 1; 1 to 2-inches long; light green to gray-green, slightly curved towards branch.

Cones: Erect; 1 to 5 inches; oval; green, aging to light brown or reddish-brown. Scales thick, blunt.

Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Male cones

Seeds: Two seeds per scale. Hard shell surrounds “pine nut.”

Habitat: Upper desert flats, bajadas, mountain sides, rocky ridges.

Elevation: 4,000 to 9,000 feet.

Distribution: Southeastern California to southeastern Idaho, extreme western Utah, south to northern Baja California.

Comments: This is the common pinyon pine in Nevada. This species might hybridize with Two-needle Pinyon Pine.

Singleleaf Pinyon Pine
Typical habitat in the Sheep Range
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Isolated tree
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla) Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla) Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Single, undivided needle
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Single, undivided needle
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
male (pollen) cones
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
male (pollen) cones
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
Ripe seeds in the cone
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)
"Pine nuts" in the shell; the seeds of Pinyon Pines
Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla) Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 141023

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