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Common Name:

Pinyon Pine

Scientific Name:

Pinus cembroides

Family Name:



A highly variable species or group of four or five species of pines native to the western and southwestern USA, including the mountains of west Texas. While variable in form the habit is often oval to tear-drop shaped in youth spreading more with age. Most subtaxa are relatively slow growing with medium green to blue-green needles. Most are tolerant of cold, heat, drought, and limestone soils once established.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, large shrub, upright conifer, tree, small tree, medium tree



Flower Color:

Not ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Woody cone


highly variable, 20 ft to 30 ft, sometimes to 70 ft


10 ft to 20 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Well adapted plants that are underutilized in much of the northern two-thirds of Texas. Barriers to clonal production have limited popularity of the various subtaxa. Best to use locally or regionally adapted provenances.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.