Pinus coulteri D. Don
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
Synonym(s): Pinus ponderosa ssp. coulteri
USDA Symbol: pico3
A 30-70 ft., conifer with a broad pyramidal or sometimes asymmetrical crown. The long, stiff, deep-green needles are up to 12 in. in length. Huge cones remain on the tree for several years. Straight-trunked tree with rows of nearly horizontal branches formed annually, an open, thin, irregular crown, and very large, heavy cones.
This pine has the heaviest cones of all pines in the world, often weighing 4-5 pounds (1.8-2.3 kilos). The lightweight, soft wood serves for rough lumber and fuel. Indians once gathered and ate the large seeds; now squirrels and other wildlife consume the annual crop. It was discovered in 1831 by Thomas Coulter (1793-1843), the Irish botanist and physician, who collected plants in Mexico and California.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Size Class: 36-72 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Native Distribution: Inner Coast Ranges of c. & s. CA; n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Warm, dry, rocky slopes
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought tolerant. Can grow at a rate of 10 ft. per year.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1984 VOL. 1, NO.4 - Lady Bird Heartened by Progress, Horticultural Society Annual Meeting Held, Dire...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Pinus coulteri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinus coulteri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinus coulteri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff