Habit: slow growing conifer that can grow in the form of a tree at higher elevations or a multi-stemmed shrubby form at lower elevations. Crown is compact, rounded and spreading. Bark is slightly furrowed and reddish brown. The yellow green to blue green needle-like leaves are short and in fascicles of two. The whole plant is usually wide and short. Squat and woody seed cones are produced when a tree is 25 years of age and take 2 years to mature. The seeds rest in a deep cone-scale, do not readily fall out and are completely dependent on birds that gather, cache and eat the seeds for distribution. Seeds are edible and considered a delicacy, commonly known as pine nuts.
Ecology: found on dry mountain slopes, mesas and open woodlands, especially in the presence of junipers, in the Southwestern United States and into Mexico at elevations from 4000-8800 ft (1300-2700 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun, well-drained soil, it is the most drought tolerant species of pine.
Pinus edulis is a slow growing long lived plant, reaching ages of 1000 years. Typical dominant trees in the forest can easily be 400 years old.
Always seek advice from a professional before consuming or using a plant medicinally.