Knobcone Pine

(Pinus attenuata)



The knobcone pine, Pinus attenuata (also called Pinus tuberculata), is a tree that grows in mild climates on poor soils. It ranges from the mountains of southern Oregon to Baja California with the greatest concentration in northern California and the Oregon-California border. Individual specimens can live up to a century. The crown is usually conical with a straight trunk. It reaches heights of 8–24 meters (26–79 feet), but can be a shrub on especially poor sites. The bark is thin and smooth, flaky and gray-brown when young, becoming dark gray-red-brown and shallowly furrowed into flat scaly ridges in age. The twigs are red-brown and often resinous. Its wood is knotty and of little interest for lumber. The leaves are in fascicles of three, needle-like, yellow-green, twisted, and 9–15 centimeters (3+1⁄2–6 in) long. The cones are resin-sealed and irregularly shaped, 8–16 cm (3+1⁄4–6+1⁄4 in) long and clustered in whorls of three to six on the branches. The scales end in a short stout prickle. Cones can sometimes be found attached to the trunk and larger branches.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
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