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Pinus albicaulis Engelm.

Whitebark pine

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyPinaceaePine family: cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces
GenusPinusLatin for “pine”

About plant names...

Whitebark pine is a native of mountainous regions in the western United States. The Mt. Mazama photos at right are at an elevation of about 1.5 mi (2.5 km).

Identification: Trees are up to 69' (21 m) tall, with trunks up to 5' (1.5 m) in diameter. Crown may be rounded, irregular, or contorted by harsh winds. Bark is pale gray, appearing whitish from a distance (hence the name). Needles are in groups of five, tending to curve upward, 1-2½" (3-7 cm) long × ¹/₃₂" (1.5 mm) wide, and deep yellow-green. Cones are oval to roughly cylindrical, ⅜-½" (1-1.5 cm) long, and bright red when flowering. Whitebark pines are found near or somewhat below the timberline, in thin, rocky soils.

For further information, see the Pinus comparison tables.

Online References:

The Gymnosperm Database

The USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

The USDA Forest Service's Silvics of North America site


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species list

The Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation


The Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Wikimedia Commons


Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 9


Pinus albicaulis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Pinus albicaulis (whitebark pine)

8/29/2007 · Mt. Mazama Crater Lake Rim Road, Ore­gon
≈ 8½ × 5½' (2.7 × 1.8 m)

Pinus albicaulis (whitebark pine)

8/29/2007 · Mt. Mazama Crater Lake Rim Road, Ore­gon
≈ 11 × 7½' (3.5 × 2.3 m)

Pinus albicaulis (whitebark pine)

8/29/2007 · Mt. Mazama Crater Lake Rim Road, Ore­gon

Range: Zones 3-5:

About this map...