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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Pinus cembroides Zucc.
Mexican pinyon, Mexican pinyon pine
USDA Symbol: pice
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Mexican pinyon is a small, bushy evergreen, 15-30 ft. tall, with a compact, rounded crown and rich, blue-green needles occurring in bundles of three. Small, resinous tree with short trunk and spreading crown of low, horizontal branches and thick-walled, edible seeds; often shrubby.
The hard seeds are the main commercial pinyon nuts (pinones) of Mexico. However, in the United States this species has limited distribution and usually bears light cone crops; other species with thin-walled seeds are more common. Rodents, especially packrats, eat the seeds.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape:
Dark Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
NM , TX Native Distribution:
C. & w. TX to s.e. AZ & n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Pinyon-juniper woodlands or mesas and mountain slopes; 5000 to 7500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils. Caliche type, Limestone-based Sandy Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Seeds are oily and edible.
Sow fresh, untreated seed in late fall. Seedlings are quite susceptible to damping-off. Seed Collection:
Collect cones from vigorous trees in late summer and fall just before they completely open to drop seeds. Spread cones on racks to dry so they will release seeds. Cones may be shaken to release seeds. Store at a moisture content of 5-10 %
fresh weight. Commercially Avail:
Prevent complete soil dryness, Prune to maintain shape, Remove dead growth, Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TX
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Record Modified: 2010-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff