Pinus torreyana. TORREY PINE. Southern California coast

PINACEAE (Pine family)

The Torrey pine is native to a restricted stretch of coastal cliff at Del Mar, just north of La Jolla, plus part of Santa Rosa Island, a smaller habitat than that of any other living pine. It hasfive needles about 12 inches long and a 6-inch cone bearing seeds that are larger than most. The seeds are edible and can be picked up from the ground. Stanford's specimens are northwest of the intersection of Palm Drive and Arboretum Road. One is 114 feet high and is a candidate for national champion. In its native windswept habitat the tree is contorted and barely reaches 20 feet. However, the Ward Torrey pine in Carpinteria, planted in 1894, was 100 feet high when I measured it with a surveyor's tape and transit in the late 1960s, but in 1993 was reported at 126 feet.

One of our giants, planted in 1898, is approaching that height in 2004 and has a girth over 10 feet. Our second specimen, a short distance to the northwest, has a similar girth. Two dozen Torrey pines dating from 1988 can be found in groups along the Bowdoin Street frontage of Rains Houses.

Illus. right: seed cone from George B. Sudworth. Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope. USDA, 1907. Click for larger image.

A simple key to campus pines.

Other campus pines: Pinus brutia eldarica | Pinus bungeana | Pinus canariensis | Pinus contorta | Pinus coulteri | Pinus densiflora | Pinus edulis | Pinus halepensis | Pinus jeffreyi | Pinus maximartinezii | Pinus mugo | Pinus muricata | Pinus nigra | Pinus patula | Pinus pinea | Pinus ponderosa | Pinus radiata | Pinus roxburghii | Pinus sabiniana | Pinus sylvestris | Pinus thunbergiana | Pinus torreyana | Pinus wallichiana

Illustrations (links open new windows): CalPhotos


Name derivation, genus | species The Latin name | Dr. John Torrey (1796-1873), who co-authored with Asa Gray the first Flora of North America

Related material: treatment in Jepson Manual | Gymnosperm Database

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family home