Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis)
Other Names: Pinyon (or Piñon), Two‐leaf Pinyon, Two‐needle PInyon, Colorado Pinyon
Family: Pinaceae (Pine Family)
Description: grows up to 10‐20 m tall with trunk diameters up to 80 cm, though most individuals do not grow taller than 3 m in this area. Needle‐like leaves occur in pairs and are 1 inch long. Scaly, rough bark is reddish‐brown and appears furrowed. Cones are 1.5‐2 inches long and egg shaped, as a stereotypical pine cone. This species is evergreen.
Range: occurs throughout the Rocky Mountain Region from Utah to Colorado and south to New Mexico and Arizona. It grows throughout Colorado National Monument.
Did you know: The seeds of the pinyon pine, also known as pine nuts, are highly nutritious. Packing 3000 calories per pound, this energy‐rich seed is a great source of oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid), vitamin E, calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. The Ute people, as well as our local blue pinyon jays have been collecting and eating pine nuts for centuries.