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Pinus monophylla (Singleleaf pinyon)
Reveal, James L.

Pinus monophylla

Pinus monophylla Torr. & Frém.

Singleleaf Pinyon, Single-leaf Pinyon, One-leaved Pinyon

Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Synonym(s): Pinus californiarum, Pinus edulis var. fallax, Pinus monophylla ssp. californiarum, Pinus monophylla ssp. fallax, Pinus monophylla var. californiarum, Pinus monophylla var. fallax, Pinus monophylla var. monophylla


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A small, bushy tree, 15-30 ft. tall, with a divided trunk and compact, rounded crown. The gray-green needles occur singly. Slow-growing, small pine with spreading, rounded, gray-green crown and low, horizontal branches; often shrubby.

This species is easily recognized by the needles borne singly, instead of in bundles of 2-5, as in other native pines. The large, edible, mealy seeds are sold locally as pinyon or pine nuts and used to be a staple food of Indians in the Great Basin region. Many kinds of birds and mammals, especially woodrats or "packrats," also consume the seeds.


From the Image Gallery

34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr


USA: AZ , CA , ID , NM , NV , UT
Native Distribution: UT to AZ & s. CA
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky slopes & ridges; 3500-9000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Forms pure stands of considerable extent in the wild. Extremely slow-growing. Tolerant of bad climates and other stress factors.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Velda pinemoth
(Coloradia velda)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: 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: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


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

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