Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta)

[ Trees > Conifers > Pines . . . ]      Forest Type: Multiple


Western pine with short needles in bundles of 2; cones unsymmetrical, under 2 inches, with a long prickle, often remaining closed for years.

by Michael Kuo

Note: Described below is Pinus contorta var. latifolia, the Rocky Mountain variety. Pinus contorta var. contorta is a stunted but otherwise similar tree of Pacific Coast shorelines; Pinus contorta var. murrayana grows inland from the Pacific Coast, at higher elevations.

Habitat: In pure stands or mixed with other trees; 6,000 to 11,000 feet; various soil types.

Stature: 70-80 feet high; to 2 feet in diameter; tall and straight, with a narrow crown.

Needles: In bundles of 2; 1-3 inches long; yellow-green; often twisted.

Bark: Thin; orangish brown to nearly black; scaly.

Cones: 1-2 inches long; not symmetrical; scales not developing or separating evenly; basal scales stout, with a long prickle; often remaining closed on the branch for years.

(References consulted)

Frequent Mushroom Associates:

Amanita gemmata, Calocybe fallax, Lactarius deliciosus var. areolatus, Suillus brevipes, Suillus pseudobrevipes, Suillus tomentosus, and many others.


Pinus contorta

Pinus contorta

Pinus contorta

Pinus contorta

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Kuo, M. (2008, January). Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: