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Vick, Albert F. W.
Pinus flexilis James
Synonym(s): Pinus flexilis ssp. alpina, Pinus flexilis ssp. callahanii, Pinus flexilis var. alpina, Pinus flexilis var. callahanii
USDA Symbol: pifl2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This is a 30-60 ft. pine with a short trunk and dark blue-green needles in clusters of five. Irregular branching and tapering limbs create a broad, flat-topped tree at maturity. It is pyramidal in youth. Medium-sized tree with short trunk and broad, rounded crown of annual rows of stout branches nearly down to ground; or a windswept, deformed shrub at timberline. Cones are long.
The names refer to the very tough and flexible twigs, which can sometimes be twisted into a knot. Plants on exposed ridges and at timberline are shaped by the wind into stunted shrubs with crooked or twisted branches that are bent over and are longer on one side. Birds and mammals, especially squirrels, consume the large seeds.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: AB
, BC Native Distribution:
Mts. from s.w. Alt. & s.e. B.C., s. to Mex. through NM
& e. CA; local in Black Hills region Native Habitat:
Exposed ridges from 7500-11,000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Soil Description:
Well-drained, rocky soils. Conditions Comments:
This slow-growing tree
has some disease and insect problems, but overall is a very hardy and adaptable tree.
PropagationDescription: Use stratified seed.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds in late summer and fall, just before the cones completely open to drop seeds. Avoid immature green cones. Spread cones in layers on drying racks; shade dried cones to release seeds.
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 21-90 days at 35-41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff