Conifers Garden - Online Conifer Nursery


Pinus leiophylla

Pinus leiophylla
  •  - Click to enlarge
  •  - Click to enlarge
  •  - Click to enlarge

Scientific name: Pinus leiophylla  Schiede ex Schlechtendal & Chamisso  1831

Synonyms:Pinus cedrus Roezl, Pinus comonfortii Roezl, Pinus decandolleana Roezl, Pinus dependens Roezl, Pinus ehrenbergii Roezl, Pinus gracilis Roezl, Pinus huisquilucaensis Roezl, Pinus lerdoi Roezl, Pinus monte-alleggri Roezl, Pinus ocotechino Roezl ex Parl., Pinus verrucosa Roezl

Common names:Chihuahua pine, Smooth-leaved pine, Pino chino (Spanish)



Tree to 25(-35) m tall, with trunk to 0.8(-0.9) m in diameter. Bark dark grayish brown to almost black, with thick, scaly blocks or ridges separated by lighter, deep furrows. Crown conical when young, becoming openly and irregularly dome-shaped, with unevenly spaced, slender, upswept branches well clothed with spread-out foliage. Twigs reddish brown, often thinly waxy at first, slightly rough with the bases of scale leaves, hairless. Buds 6-15 mm long, slightly resinous. Needles in bundles of (two or) three to five (or six), each needle (4-)7-14(-17) cm long, stiff or slightly flexible, lasting 2-3 years, yellowish green or bluish green with a thin, waxy coating. Individual needles with narrow but conspicuous lines of stomates on both the inner and outer faces, and (one or) two to six (or seven) resin canals midway between the outer surface and the two-stranded midvein (or occasionally one or two right next to the midvein) at the corners and below the outer face. Sheath (10-)12-15(-20) mm long, peeling away completely and falling with the expansion of the needles. Pollen cones 10-20 mm long, yellowish brown. Seed cones (3.5-)5-7(-9) cm long, egg-shaped with a flat bottom, with (40-)50-80(-100) seed scales, green before maturity, ripening shiny light brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then persisting several years before falling with the slender, 1-2 cm long stalks. seed scales pointedly rectangular, the exposed face diamond-shaped, low, crossed by a shallow ridge topped by a small diamond-shaped umbo bearing a small, sharp prickle. Seed body (2-)3-5 mm long, the clasping but easily detachable wing another (7-)10-15(-19) mm longer.

Mountains of southern and western Mexico and the adjacent United States. Usually mixed with other pines and other trees in pine and pine-oak forest on rocky soils; (1,500-)1,600-2,800(-3,300) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(Pinus leiophylla has a very wide distribution, mainly in Mexico but extending into the SW USA (Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana) and is common in many areas. It is therefore assessed as 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.

This field is required.