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Pinus muricata

Pinus muricata D. Don

Bishop Pine

Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Synonym(s): Pinus muricata ssp. borealis, Pinus muricata ssp. stantonii, Pinus muricata var. borealis, Pinus muricata var. muricata, Pinus muricata var. remorata, Pinus muricata var. stantonii, Pinus remorata


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A fast-growing, dark green pine with rugged bark and thick, spreading branches creating a dense, rounded habit. Mature height is 40-60 ft. Tree with conical, rounded, or irregular crown of stout, spreading branches and with numerous spiny cones remaining closed many years.

The numerous cones remain closed, even when enclosed by the bark and wood of the expanding trunk. Fossil cones from the Pleistocene, or glacial, epoch indicate that this pine was associated with extinct vertebrates, including the woolly mammoth. Its common name apparently refers to the discovery of this local pine in 1835 near the mission of San Luis Obispo (Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse) in California.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange
Bloom Time: Apr


Native Distribution: N. & c. CA coast
Native Habitat: Low hills & flats

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Drier, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Often used as a windbreak or hedge.


Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Pretreatment is usually not necessary, but germination of pine seeds exhibiting dormancy can be hastened by cold stratification.
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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2011-08-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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