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Pinus durangensis

Pinus durangensis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pinus durangensis   Martínez  1942

Synonyms: Pinus martinezii E.Larsen

Common names: Durango pine, Pino blanco, Pino real (Spanish)



Tree to 30(-40) m tall, with trunk to 0.7(-1.0) m in diameter. Bark grayish brown, with elongate, scaly plates separated by shallow, dark furrows. Crown roughly spherical with horizontal to strongly downwardly angled branches densely clothed with foliage at the tips. Twigs orangish brown to reddish brown with a thin dusting of wax, rough with the bases of scale leaves, becoming smooth by the third year, hairless. Buds 12-20(-25) mm long, scarcely resinous. Needles in bundles of five to seven (or eight), most frequently six, each needle (10-)15-24(-28) cm long, stiff and fairly straight, lasting 2(-3) years, shiny light green to waxy bluish green. Individual needles with a few lines of stomates on all three faces, and (one to) three (to five) resin canals midway between the outer surface and the two-stranded midvein at the corners and next to the outer face. Sheath (18-)25-30 mm at first, weathering to (10-)15-20 mm and persisting and falling with the bundle. Pollen cones 15-30 mm long, brownish yellow. Seed cones (5-)6-10(-13) cm long, egg-shaped, with (60-)75-120 seed scales, green before maturity, ripening straw-colored and then progressively darkening, opening widely to release the seeds but not falling for 1-2 years, at which time it leaves a few basal scales behind on the short (3-12 mm) stalk or falls with the stalk. Seed scales almost rectangular, the exposed face horizontally diamond-shaped, crossed by a sharp ridge that ends in a stout, prickly umbo. Seed body (3-)5-7 mm long, the easily detachable wing another 12-17 mm longer.

Scattered in Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico, from northeastern Sonora to central Michoacán, but most abundant in Durango (hence the scientific name), with an outlier in the Sierra de Manantlán, Jalisco. Forming pure stands or mixed with other pines, oaks, and even other conifers at its upper and lower elevational ranges; (1,400-)1,800-2,500(-3,000) m. Climatically, the Sierra Madre is warm-temperate, but with cold spells during the short winter at the higher elevations. Annual precipitation varies between 700-1,200 mm, most of which occurs in the summer.

Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

The large extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy based on comprehensive locality sampling and a grid width of 10 km because this is a forest forming species, both place it outside a threatened category. However, exploitation has reduced formerly “extensive pure forests in Durango and southern Chihuahua… to only scattered, open stands over most of its range” (Perry 1991). It is therefore listed as Near Threatened as it nearly meets the criteria A2cd; B2ab(ii,iii,v) for listing as threatened. Although this decline has not ceased there is insufficient data to allocate one of the threatened categories. The change in status since the previous assessment of Least Concern, can therefore be seen as a genuine recent change. Populations have been substantially reduced within the last 25 years due to exploitation, fires and forest clearance. The decline is ongoing. In the Sierra Madre this species is an important constituent of the 'yellow pine' forest, where it occurs in pure stands or mixed with several other species of pine, e.g. Pinus arizonica, Pinus leiophylla, and Pinus engelmannii, or in pine-oak forests. This pine is adapted to grow on shallow, rocky soils, but its better stands are found on deeper soils, where it can successfully compete with most other pines. The soils are mostly derived from volcanic rock. At the highest elevation Pinus durangensis occurs with Abies and/or Cupressus lusitanica, at the lowest with Juniperus deppeana and Pinus oocarpa. Other pines are Pinus montezumae, Pinus teocote and in the southern part of its range Pinus ayacahuite can occur with it. In addition this species is associated with Quercus sideroxyla, Quercus rugosa, Pinus ayacahuite and Pseudotsuga (Garcia and Gonzalez 2003). Durango pine is an important timber tree. It grows straight and tall and is (or was) abundant and wide spread in many areas within its range. Logging from natural stands at the current rate is unsustainable and plantations are now being attempted in the state of Durango. The timber is used for construction such as roof beams, general carpentry, furniture, floors, and plywood. This species is virtually unknown in horticulture.



  • 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 CodePINHAPAL10
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 25 cm

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