New Mexico State Tree
(Pinaceae Pinus edulis)
Adopted on March 16, 1949.
When the New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs was asked to
select a state tree, the pinyon, Pinaceae Pinus edulis,
was their choice. It was adopted on March 16, 1949, the same day
the roadrunner was adopted as the state bird. Ten years later,
Nevada adopted the single-leaf pinyon.
Pinyon (Pinus edulis) is a small, drought-hardy,
long-lived tree widespread in the southwestern United States.
Its common name is derived from the Spanish piņon which
refers to the large seed of pino (pine). For this reason
the tree is known in the Southwest and throughout its range by
this Spanish equivalent (49). Other common names are Colorado
pinyon, nut pine, two-needle pinyon, and two-leaf pinyon (50).
Its heavy, yellow wood is used primarily for fuel. Because of
their delicate flavor its seeds are in much demand, making them
its most valuable product.
- Leaf: Usually two needles per fascicle. Needles
are coarse, thick, curved, blue-green or yellow-green,
stiff, and one to two inches long.
- Flower: Monoecious; males red, cylindrical, in
clusters near ends of branches; females purplish at branch
- Fruit: Cones are ovoid, 2 inches long, short
stalked, brown in color, with very thick cone scales. Each
scale contains two very large edible "pine nuts". Maturing
in September and October.
- Twig: Stout and orange-brown, somewhat scraggly.
- Bark: Scaly or with small plates, red brown to
- Form: A small tree with an irregular rounded
||Plantae -- Plants
||Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
||Spermatophyta – Seed plants
||Coniferophyta – Conifers
||Pinaceae – Pine family
||Genus Pinus L. – pine
edulis Engelm. – twoneedle pinyon
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture