Pinus cembroides Zucc.
Mexican Pinyon, Mexican Pinyon Pine, Pinyon, Nut Pine, Border Pinyon
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
USDA Symbol: pice
Mexican pinyon is a small, bushy evergreen, usually 15-30 ft. tall, with a compact, rounded crown and rich, blue-green needles occurring in bundles of three. Small, resinous tree with short trunk and spreading crown of low, horizontal branches and thick-walled, edible seeds; often shrubby.
The hard seeds are the main commercial pinyon nuts (pinones) of Mexico. However, in the United States this species has limited distribution and usually bears light cone crops; other species with thin-walled seeds are more common. Rodents, especially "packrats," eat the seeds.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
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 a 50 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Dark Green
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: NM , TX
Native Distribution: C. & w. TX to s.e. AZ & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Pinyon-juniper woodlands or mesas and mountain slopes; 5000 to 7500 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils. Caliche type, Limestone-based Sandy Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Seeds are oily and edible.
PropagationDescription: 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
Maintenance: Prevent complete soil dryness, Prune to maintain shape, Remove dead growth, Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1242 Collected 2008-10-25 in Jeff Davis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Pinus cembroides in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinus cembroides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinus cembroides
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-09-23
Research By: TWC Staff