Torrey Pine

Genus: Pinus
Species: torreyana
Parts Used: piñon nuts

The Torrey pine has a century lifespan and grows very slowly. Wild Torrey Pines are usually 40-60' high and 25-40' wide. They grows much faster if they are cultivated or transplanted.

The Torrey pine is one of the rarest pine in the U.S. It is special because it has piñon nuts and five needles in a bunch. Most pines that have piñon nuts only have two needles in a bunch. The piñon nut is very large and eatable, but it is very hard.

The Torrey pine, like some other plants in the pinus family, has cones. They usually weigh about a pound each and measure 4-6" long. The piñon nuts are inside the cones.

It blooms mostly in February. The female flowers are in the top of the tree. They look like little red pine cones. The male flowers grow on the bottom branches of the tree. The Torrey pine cones take three years to mature, and drop off the tree in the autumn. It has a very large seed with tiny wings which don't let them float very far in the wind.

A very small Torrey pine seedling can have a tap root two feet long . By the time it is 40 feet high, its roots can be 200 feet long. This makes it possible for the Torrey pine to grow on cliffs and other places where there is very little dirt.

The wood of the Torrey Pine does not burn very well and its shade is very thin. For the most part, the Torrey pine is very beautiful to look at , clinging to the face of a cliff or rocks on the beach.

The Torrey pine is only located in the coastal chaparral of San Diego County, California.

by Whit H.  2000.



"The Torrey Pine",, (6/18/00)

"Special Species Project: Welcome",, (9/30/00).