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Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata D. Don

Monterey Pine

Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Synonym(s): Pinus radiata var. binata

USDA Symbol: PIRA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Symmetrical or flat-topped with age, this fast-growing pine has deep, glossly-green needles; dark, red-brown bark and persistent cones. Tree with straight trunk, narrow, irregular, open crown, and many closed cones grouped in rings. Grows from 50-100 ft. in height.

Although rare in its native California, Monterey Pine is one of the world's most valuable pines and is the most common commercially planted one in the southern hemisphere (where pines are not native), especially in New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Like those of Knobcone and Bishop pines, the cones of Monterey Pine remain closed until opened by the heat of a forest fire; the abundant seeds are then discharged and begin a new forest. The cones may also burst open in hot weather with a snapping sound.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Fascicled
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 100 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Dec


Native Distribution: Endemic to sites in Santa Cruz, Monterey & San Luis Obispo Cos., CA
Native Habitat: Dry, coastal, fog belt bluffs and slopes below 1000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: This pine is readily available in nurseries but should only be used on coastal areas with high summer humidity. It will survive only a few years in the interior. It is smog and wind tolerant.


Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
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

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-09-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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