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Pinus engelmannii

Pinus engelmannii
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Scientific name: Pinus engelmannii  Carrière  1854

Synonyms: Pinus apacheca Lemmon, Pinus latifolia Sarg., Pinus macrophylla Engelm., Pinus mayriana Sudw., Pinus ponderosa var. macrophylla Shaw, Pinus ponderosa var. mayriana Sarg.

Common names: Apache pine (English), Pino real (Spanish)



Tree to 25(-35) m tall, with trunk to 0.8(-1) m in diameter. Bark brown, with narrow, elongate, scaly, flat plates divided by shallow furrows. Crown deeply domed, open, with fairly thick, horizontal branches densely clothed with foliage at the ends. Twigs grayish brown, very stout (1-2 cm through), very rough with the bases of scale leaves, hairless. Buds 15-25(-30) mm long, variably resinous. Needles in bundles of three (to five), each needle (18-)25-35(-45) cm long, stiff but drooping because of their length, lasting 2(-3) years, yellowish green to dull green or even slightly bluish green. Individual needles with numerous narrow but conspicuous lines of stomates on all three faces, and (2-)3-6(-14) resin canals at the corners and in between midway between the surface and the two-stranded midvein. Sheath 30-45 mm long at first, the lower 15-25 mm persisting and falling with the bundle. Pollen cones 20-40 mm long, yellowish brown. Seed cones (8-)10-15(-18) cm long, egg-shaped with a flat to conical base, a little asymmetrical, with 75-150 seed scales, green before maturity, ripening light brown to light yellowish brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then falling, leaving a few basal scales behind on the stout, usually extremely short (but up to 1.5 cm) stalk. Seed scales paddle-shaped, the exposed face projecting in a pyramid topped by an umbo with a sharp, stout spine. Seed body 5-8 mm long, the firmly attached or easily detachable wing another 18-25 mm longer.

The scientific name honors George Engelmann (1809 - 1884), botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, who first described the species under a name that later proved to be unavailable.

Southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico through the Sierra Madre Occidental to southern Zacatecas, with outliers in the Sierra Madre Oriental in Coahuila and Tamaulipas (Mexico). Mixed with other species in open pine-oak woodlands on varied dry sites in the mountains; (1,200-)1,500-2,500(-3,000) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Pinus engelmannii is very widespread in Mexico and in many places common: it is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

Pinus engelmannii occurs on moderately dry, summer-warm open mountain slopes or plateaus at altitudes between (1,200-)1,500-2,700(-3,000) m a.s.l., most abundantly between 2,000-2,500 m. It occurs on poor rocky (volcanic) soils as well as on alluvial coarse sand/gravel or loamy sand. The climate is temperate, with annual rainfall from 400-700 mm increasing southward. Above 2,000 m frost and snow are common in winter. It is a constituent of open pine and pine-oak woodland, sometimes of mixed pine forest, with e.g. Pinus leiophylla, Pinus lumholtzii and Pinus pseudostrobus, on drier sites with Pinus cembroides and Juniperus sp., and usually with various species of Quercus present. Phenology: pollen dispersal is reported to occur in May (Arizona); the time is likely to be dependent on altitude and can be some weeks later at the highest elevations. In Durango it is associated with Pinus teocote, Pinus herrerae and Pinus douglasiana.

Apache pine is commonly logged, but apparently not specifically selected as a timber tree; in most of its range it grows together with other pines. Its wood properties are similar to those of Ponderosa pine and Jeffrey pine and the wood is put to similar uses. In recent decades it has been taken more often into cultivation as it apparently grows well in regions with relatively mild winters and (moderately) warm summers. It’s very large, light green to glaucous green needles are a striking feature in any good size garden.

In some areas depletion of larger trees has been observed. No specific conservation actions have been recorded for this species although it is known from several protected areas.


Varieties: -



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodePINFH17G92
Weight4.5 kg
Height25 - 30 cm

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