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Oneneedle Pinyon Pine
Pinus monophylla
About Oneneedle Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla) Nurseries Show All Photos The Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla) is a pine in the pinyon pine group, native to the United States and northwest Baja, Mexico. Within California it is found in the Sierras, the Transverse Range, and Peninsular Range. It occurs at moderate altitudes from 1200-2300 meter, rarely as low as 950 meter and as high as 2900 meter, in the most arid areas occupied by any pine in California. It is widespread and often abundant in this region, forming extensive open woodlands, often mixed with junipers. It is a small to medium size tree, reaching 10-20 meter tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 80 centimeter, rarely more. However, it is very slow growing, reaching only 3 ft. in seven years.The bark is irregularly furrowed and scaly. It is the world's only 1-needled pine; the leaves ('needles') are usually single (though trees with needles in pairs are found occasionally), stout, 4-6 centimeter long, and grey-green to strongly waxy pale blue-green, with stomata over the whole needle surface (and on both inner and outer surfaces of paired needles). The cones are acute-globose, the largest of the true pinyons, 4.5-8 centimeter long and broad when closed, green at first, ripening yellow-buff when 18-20 months old, with only a small number of very thick scales, typically 8-20 fertile scales. The cones open to 6-9 centimeter broad when mature, holding the seeds on the scales after opening. The seeds are 11-16 millimeter long, with a thin shell, a white endosperm, and a vestigial 1-2 millimeter wing; they are dispersed by the Pinyon Jay, which plucks the seeds out of the open cones. The jay, which uses the seeds as a food resource, stores many of the seeds for later use by burying them. Some of these stored seeds are not used and are able to grow into new trees. Indeed, Pinyon seeds will rarely germinate in the wild unless they are cached by jays or other animals. The seeds (pine nuts) are also harvested and eaten by people.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
20 - 65.6 ft (6.1 - 20 m)

Max. Width
35 ft (10.7 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate
Very Slow, Slow


Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky slopes

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-39' - 12704'

Annual Precip. ?
3.3" - 58.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.22" - 4.47"

Coldest Month ?
19.2° F - 59.0° F

Hottest Month ?
41.2° F - 87.5° F

Humidity ?
1.27 vpd - 43.23 vpd

Soil Description
Found in decomposed granite, sandstone and loamy clay

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

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

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2*, 3*, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous birds and small mammals are attracted to the seeds

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 1-3 mos. stratification (USDA Forest Service 1974). No treatment. necessary if maximum germinating temperature is below 73°F ( Heit 1968a).

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Single-leaf Pinyon Pine, Singleleaf Pinyon

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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