Conifers Garden - Online Conifer Nursery


Pinus lambertiana

Pinus lambertiana
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Scientific name: Pinus lambertiana  D.Douglas  1827

Synonyms:Strobus lambertiana (Douglas) Moldenke

Common names: Sugar pine



Tree to 60(-85) m tall, often clear of branches for 30 m. trunk to 2(-3.5) m in diameter. Bark dark grayish brown in the deep, interconnecting furrows between reddish brown, interrupted, narrow, flat-topped vertical ridges. Crown raggedly oval, open, with numerous, widely spaced, slender, unequally long, horizontal branches turning up at the tips when not weighted down by seed cones and bearing relatively sparse foliage. Twigs light reddish brown, smooth, minutely hairy. Buds 5-8 mm, resinous. Needles in bundles of five, each needle 5-8(-10) cm long, stiff, twisted, and slightly diverging, lasting 2-3(-4) years, bluish green with wax. Individual needles with lines of stomates on all three faces, an undivided midvein, two small resin canals touching the epidermis of the outer face, and sometimes with a third resin canal near the juncture of the two inner faces, either touching the epidermis of one of them or immersed in the leaf tissue between them. Sheath (10-)15-20 mm long, soon shed. Pollen cones 10-15 mm long, straw-colored. Seed cones very large, (25-)30-45(-60) cm long mostly straight and broadly cylindrical with a slight taper toward the tip, with 150-250 seed scales or more, green before maturity, ripening medium yellowish brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then falling, on stalks 6-15 cm long. seed scales paddle-shaped, moderately thick and rigid, straight, the exposed portion a little cupped and with a sharp angle along the midline, with a narrow diamond-shaped umbo at the tip. Seed body 10-15(-20) mm long, the firmly attached wing 20-30 mm long.

Mountains of Pacific North America, from central Oregon through California and westernmost Nevada to northern Baja California (Mexico). Almost always mixed with other conifers (and often towering over many of them) in montane forest; 350-3,200 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(Pinus lambertiana's large extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are well beyond any threshold for a threatened category, and the great number of mature trees inside and outside protected areas, and the absence of white pine blister rust in large subpopulations plus the development of resistant variants support an assessment of Least Concern)



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.

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