Pinus strobiformis

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Pinus strobiformis
  • (PI-nus  stro-bi-FOR-miss)
  • COMMON NAME: Southwestern White Pine
  • FAMILY: Pinaceae (Pine Family)
  • NATIVITY: Arizona, New Mexico, and south into Mexico..
  • GROWTH HABIT: Broad, rounded, and often with a hint of dishevelment in the branching and the leaves.
  • SIZE: 30’ to 50’ in the landscape, and up to 80’ tall in its native habitat.
  • HARDINESS: Zone 6 to 9.
  • CULTURE: Prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soils. This pine is potentially more heat and drought tolerant than the eastern white pine, to which it is very similar.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Specimen plant, screens, and some effort has been made to produce this pine for sale as a Christmas tree.
  • FOLIAGE: Needles 1½” to 3½” long, in fascicles of fives, often twisted, and distinctly bluish (more so than eastern white pine). The needles are rather soft to the touch.
  • BARK: Dark brown and deeply furrowed.
  • CONE: Cones are short stalked or sessile, cylindrical, and 6” to 10” long.
  • PESTS: Pine needle scale.
  • CULTIVARS: The western white pine is part of a “continuum of pine” so to speak. The continuum begins with Pinus monticola in the Pacific Northwest, intergrading into Pinus flexilis in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado), south to Pinus strobiformis in the Southwestern United States, and ending up as Pinus ayacahuite in Mexico. Understandably, these pines are all very similar and have similar uses in the landscape. There are, however, subtle differences in these pines, both as immature and mature specimens. When one learns to identify the individual species, discern nuance in habit, texture, and color, and subsequently utilize these characteristics to their full extent in the landscape, one will have reached a level of sophistication of a true “master of the pines.”



University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153