Whitebark Pine 2005

Whitebark Pine Needles 2005

Whitebark Pine Cone 2005

Whitebark Pine Range

Pinus albicaulis, whose many common names include whitebark pine, white pine, pitch pine, scrub pine, and creeping pine,American Indians gathered the cones and ate the seeds of this species. A bird called Clarks nutcracker tears open the cones to eat the seeds; in northern Eurasia, another nutcracker uses a similar method to obtain the seeds of a closely related species. Whitebark Pine is considered the most primitive native pine because its cones do not open until they decay. occurs in the mountains of the western United States and Canada, specifically the subalpine areas of the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range, the Pacific Coast Ranges, and the Rocky Mountains from Wyoming northwards. It shares the common name creeping pine with several other "creeping pine" plants.

The whitebark pine is typically the highest-elevation pine tree of these mountains, marking the tree line. Thus, it is often found as krummholz, trees dwarfed by exposure and growing close to the ground. In more favourable conditions, trees may grow to 20 meters (66 ft) in height, although some can reach up to 27 meters (89 ft).

Distinguishing whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), from the related limber pine (Pinus flexilis), also a "white pine", is much more difficult, and needs seed or pollen cones. In Pinus albicaulis, the cones are 4–7 centimeters (1.6–2.8 in) long, dark purple when immature, and do not open on drying, but the scales easily break when they are removed by Clark's nutcracker (see below) to harvest the seeds; rarely are there intact old cones under them. Its pollen cones are scarlet.[4]

In Pinus flexilis, the cones are 6–12 centimeters (2.4–4.7 in) long, green when immature, and open to release the seeds; the scales are not fragile. Usually there are intact old cones under them. Their pollen cones are yellow

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) can also be hard to distinguish from western white pine (Pinus monticola) in the absence of cones. However, whitebark pine needles are entire (smooth when rubbed gently in either direction), whereas western white pine needles are finely serrated (feeling rough when rubbed gently from tip to base). Whitebark pine needles are also usually shorter, 4–7 centimeters (1.6–2.8 in) long, overlapping in size with the larger 5–10 centimeters (2.0–3.9 in) needles of the western white pine.

American Indians gathered the cones and ate the seeds of this species. A bird called Clarks nutcracker tears open the cones to eat the seeds; in northern Eurasia, another nutcracker uses a similar method to obtain the seeds of a closely related species. Whitebark Pine is considered the most primitive native pine because its cones do not open until they decay.

Sourced:
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PIAL
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinus_albicaulis

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