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Pinus albicaulis (Whitebark pine)
Reveal, James L.

Pinus albicaulis

Pinus albicaulis Engelm.

Whitebark Pine

Pinaceae (Pine Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Tree with short, twisted or crooked trunk and irregular, spreading crown; a shrub at timberline; foliage has sweetish taste and odor.

American Indians gathered the cones and ate the seeds of this species. A bird called Clark's nutcracker tears open the cones to eat the seeds; in northern Eurasia, another nutcracker uses a similar method to obtain the seeds of a closely related species. Whitebark Pine is considered the most primitive native pine because its cones do not open until they decay.


From the Image Gallery

37 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul


USA: CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: Central British Columbia, east to SW. Alberta, south to W. Wyoming and west to central California. At 4500-7000' (1372-2134 m) in north; at 8000-12,000' (2438-3658 m) in south.
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky soils on exposed slopes and ridges in subalpine zone to timberline; sometimes forms pure stands and thickets.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pinus albicaulis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinus albicaulis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinus albicaulis


Record Modified: 2019-08-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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