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Jeffrey Pine
Pinus jeffreyi
About Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) Nurseries Show All Photos Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi), named in honor of its documenter John Jeffrey, is a North American pine related to Ponderosa Pine. It occurs from southwest Oregon south through much of California, including the Sierras, Coast Ranges, Transverse Range and Peninsular Range, to northern Baja California, Mexico. It is a high altitude species; in the north of its range, it grows widely at 1,500 to 2,100 meter (4,900 to 6,900 feet) altitude, and at 1,800 to 2,900 meter (5,900 to 9,500 feet) in the south of its range. The Jeffrey Pine is a large tree, reaching 25 to 40 meter (82 to 131 feet) tall, rarely up to 53 meter (174 feet) tall, though smaller when growing at or near tree line. The leaves are needle-like, in bundles of three, stout, waxy pale gray-green, 12 to 23 centimeter (4.7 to 9.1 inches) long. The cones are 12 to 24 centimeter (4.7 to 9.4 inches) long, dark purple when immature, ripening pale brown, with thinly woody scales bearing a short, sharp inward-pointing barb. The seeds are 10 to 12 millimeter (0.39 to 0.47 inches) long, with a large (15 to 25 millimeter (0.59 to 0.98 inches)) wing. In the Sierras and Peninsular Range it grows primarily on granite, but in the Coast Ranges it is found largely on Serpentine soils. The bark has a distinctive fragrance described as reminiscent of vanilla, lemon, pineapple, violets, apple, or butterscotch. It is tolerant of drought, cold and heat.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
40 - 180 ft (12.2 - 54.9 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Forested mountains

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
37' - 10841'

Annual Precip. ?
4.4" - 156.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 5.90"

Coldest Month ?
20.3° F - 54.2° F

Hottest Month ?
45.2° F - 85.4° F

Humidity ?
0.33 vpd - 39.84 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers rich, forest soil with well-decomposed organic component derived from decaying wood. For garden purposes add redwood compost to soil mix.

Soil PH
5.2 - 7.9

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -15° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*

Companion Plants
Trees: White Fir (Abies concolor), Maple (Acer glabrum or macrophyllum), Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Cherry (Prunus sp.), Oak (Quercus sp.), and Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica)

Shrubs: Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp., Dogwood (Cornus sp.), Flannelbush (Fremontodendron sp.), Currant/Gooseberry (Ribes sp.), Sage (Salvia sp.), and Huckleberry (Vaccinium sp.)

Wildlife Attracted
Species in the genus Pinus are host plant to the Pine White butterfly

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Deep Organic, Organic with Rocks

Prune in winter when wood boring insects are less active.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Fresh seeds need no treatment; stored seeds 1-2 mos. stratification may improve germination (USDA Forest Service 1974).

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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