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Mexican Pinyon Pinus cembroides


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Alternate name: Nut Pine, Pinyon

Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Small to medium-size tapered tree. Crown rounded, spreading. Branches full, ascending. Bark gray to dark reddish-brown, thick, deeply fissured. Needles in mixed pairs and threes, slender, 3-6 cm. long, and dull yellowish green, with stomata on both inner and outer surfaces. Cones globose, 3-4 cm. long and broad when closed, green at first, ripening yellow-brown when 18–20 months old, with only a small number of thick scales, with typically 5-12 fertile scales. Cones open to 4-5 cm. broad when mature, holding the seeds on the scales after opening. Seeds 10-12 mm. long, with a thick shell, a pink endosperm. Wing 2 mm.

Dimensions Height: 5-6 m. (16-20 ft.)
Diameter: 0.3 m. (1 ft.).

Habitat Mountains, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Deserts, Grasslands & prairies.

Range Southwest, Texas.

Discussion Used for fuel, fenceposts, and small construction timbers, but rarely for lumber. Wood is soft, heavy, and varies from fine- to coarse-grained.
Seeds dispersed by the Mexican Jay, which plucks the seeds out of the open cones. The jay uses the seeds as a major food resource, stores many for later use; some of these stored seeds are able to grow into new trees.