Pinus jeffreyi

Today’s entry was supposed to be posted yesterday, but we’re still trying to determine the optimal settings for the new server, so it ended up crashing again last night. It shouldn’t be too much longer before things are back to being stable, though.

I briefly spoke to the Vancouver Rhododendron Society last night about some of my trips to the Siskiyous, so while working through the images for that presentation, I pulled this one for BPotD today.

My inclination is to call this Jeffrey pine, but other common names are also in use, including bull pine and sapwood pine. This is primarily a California species, but it can also be found in the Siskiyous area of southwest Oregon and northern Baja California. As noted in the link, “Jeffrey pine often dominates and is almost entirely restricted to soils derived from ultramafic rocks- peridotites and their alteration products, serpentinites”, and this is indeed the case in the Siskiyous, where the presence of Jeffrey pine indicates serpentine soils. In non-serpentine soils nearby, the similar Pinus ponderosa grows instead.

Commercially, the two species of pine are treated as indistinct, but there are biological differences. Some of these are summarized in the Wikipedia article on Pinus jeffreyi, such as Pinus jeffreyi having overall larger cones with inward-pointing barbs and needles that are glaucous (having a whitish to bluish waxy or powdery coating, such that the colour appears muted). Naturally-occurring hybrids between the two species are rare, in part because of the different times of pollen production and reception: in areas where the two species overlap, Pinus ponderosa releases/receives pollen 4-6 (-8?) weeks prior to Pinus jeffreyi. Wood chemistry is also different with respect to presence / absence of certain monoterpenes; n-heptane, n-nonane, and n-undecane are present in Pinus jeffreyi and seemingly absent in ponderosa pine (see: Anderson, AB, et al.. 1969. Monoterpenes, fatty and resin acids of Pinus ponderosa and Pinus jeffreyi. Phytochemistry. 8(5): 873-875.)., as always, has excellent additional reading about conifer species: Pinus jeffreyi, and Calphotos has additional images: Pinus jeffreyi.

A note for local readers: I’ll be speaking on Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia on Monday @ noon — one of my favourite visual presentations.

Botany / gardening resource link: Florida’s Native Wildflowers from the Florida Wildflower Foundation was recently launched, containing a weblog, a bloom map, a section on growing Florida wildflowers and much more. Definitely worth a peek and the bloom map is something to keep in mind if you plan to travel around the state.

Pinus jeffreyi

5 responses to “Pinus jeffreyi”

  1. Andrea

    I am so very fond of Jeffrey pine! Jeffrey and Ponderosa certainly overlap, and the soil restriction is not so clear-cut (both grow on non-serpentine in the Sierra Nevada). If you are lucky enough to have cones, the prickles do separate the gentle Jeffrey from the prickly Ponderosa. Also, the bark of Jeffrey pine smells more of tangerine, while Ponderosa has a hint of vanilla.

  2. phillip

    Having lived NW of Placerville above the snow line, we had many Jeffrey and Ponderosa pines on our 20 acres. The high desert soil here was poor, with a large amount of white quartz, and serpentine (false jade).
    I worked for a gravel company for a while on a ‘crusher’, serpentine was our main rock.

  3. Troy Mullens

    I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for the info and links. I’ll pay more attention the next time we are in that part of the country. Thanks to andrea and phillip for their comments. Nice photo.

  4. elizabth a airhart

    it is not for it’s beauty that the forest makes a claim upons nens hearts,
    as for the sutle something,that quality of air that emanates from old trees.
    that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
    robert louis stevenson
    thank you for all the links the cal photos re very good
    i live in florida moved here from the north some of the natives
    call us invasive wild flower transplants

  5. Albert

    Some smell P.Jeffreyi as tangerine others as maple syrup.

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