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Pinus radiataMonterey Pine
 
Pinus radiata at SF Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor

Pinus radiata by Joanne Taylor

Pinus radiata Pinus radiata Pinus radiata Bark of Pinus radiata Pinus radiata Pinus radiata Pinus radiata
 

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California is home to a variety of conifers. Out of the 74 conifers found in the western United States, 57 grow in California and 27 are endemic, including the Monterey pine. It is one of three signature trees planted by William Hammond Hall in 1872 to create the original tree canopy in Golden Gate Park. Found naturally in three distinct coastal areas of California, Pinus radiata (Monterey pine) is considered a "closed-cone pine," with cones that remain unopened on its branches for years. The cones are serotinous, needing fire to stimulate opening of the cone scales and release of the seeds for dispersal. Occasionally the heat of a very warm day will be enough to open the cones. It is closely related to Pinus attenuata (knobcone pine) and Pinus muricata (bishop pine), the other two closed-cone pines, or as they are sometimes called, "fire pines."

The needles come in bundles of three, are dark green and flexible, and have a blunt tip. The height of the tree varies from 40 to 100 feet with a girth varying from three to six feet. The cones are small – three to five inches – and asymmetrical, clinging to the branches at an oblique angle.

In recent years, populations of Monterey pine have declined due to the fungus Fusarium circinatum, which causes pitch canker disease. The disease has spread to many species of California Native pines, however, the Monterey pine has been the most severely affected.

Selective breeding and additions of growth hormones by timber companies have produced a new hybrid with far better quality timber than is present in the original species. Its fast-growing nature combined with these new qualities have made it the most planted pine in the world, with vast plantations in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Kenya and Chile. The new hybrid has been so successful abroad that it is now considered an invasive species in some countries, often crowding out native flora, and thus diminishing the associated wildlife.

Profile
Scientific Name Pinus radiata
Family Pinaceae
Plant Type Tree
Environment Well drained sites, close to the ocean to emulate their native habitat and prevent stress.
Bloom Pollen cones 10-15 mm orange brown; Seed cones maturing in Februrary two years after pollination 7-15cm, yellow-brown
Uses Large canopy tree requiring a lot of space.
More Info The three areas where it naturally occurs are all in the fog belt in central California: Ano Nuevo, Monterey Peninsula and Cambria.

In its native range, it is the principal host for the dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium.

The stand of Monterey Pines growing in the town of Pacific Grove serve as winter habitat for monarch butterflies.

More about pitch canker disease
Location

Pinus radiata is located in the South Africa Garden (Bed 32A), the Temperate Asia Garden (Bed 19B) and the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest (Bed 26D.)

Visiting Info >>
Map (Bed Numbers) >>

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IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Photos by Docent Joanne Taylor; text by Docent Kathy McNeil; profile by Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler

 
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Magnolia dawsoniana

Magnolia dawsoniana

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

February

Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

March

Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

April

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

May

Arbutus menziesii

Arbutus menziesii

June

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

July

Cistus sp.

Cistus sp.

August

 
Magnolia campbellii

Magnolia campbellii

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Magnolia x veitchii

Magnolia x veitchii

March

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

April

Aesculus californica

Aesculus californica

May

Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum

June

Sambucus racemosa

Sambucus racemosa

July

Sequoia sempervirens

Sequoia sempervirens

August

Asarum caudatum

Asarum caudatum

September

Deppea splendens

Deppea splendens

October

Montanoa spp.

Montanoa spp.

November

Bidens sp.

Bidens sp.

December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

June

Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

September

Cyathea cooperi

Cyathea cooperi

October

Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

November

Correa spp.

Correa spp.

December

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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