Northwest Conifers

Knobcone Pine – Pinus attenuata Speaker



USGS Distribution Map

Knobcone pine is a somewhat rare, smaller pine that usually grows no higher than 80 feet (25 meters).

Needles: Grow in bundles of three. They are 3-6 inches long, stiff and twisted.

Cones: You can identify this pine by its unique clusters of knobby cones. They  adhere to limbs in clusters, gripping the tree so tightly that they sometimes become embedded as the tree grows around them. They often remain closed for years until the seeds are released after a fire.

Bark: The bark is gray, thin, and breaks into scales on large trees.

Where it grows: In southwest Oregon, it grows above 1000 feet in the mountains near the coast and some scattered locations in the southern Cascades, mostly on dry, rocky slopes. It also grows in scattered locations throughout much of California.

Knobcone pine at Hoyt Arboretum

Names: The species name, attenuata, is Latin for "tapered."




© 2012 Ken Denniston