USA Official State Tree of New Mexico

    New Mexico State TreeTree, a state symbol

    Pinyon

    (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.

    Description:
    • 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 tips.
    • 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 gray.
    • Form: A small tree with an irregular rounded crown.

     

    Taxonomic Hierarchy
    Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
    Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
    Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
    Division Coniferophyta – Conifers
    Class Pinopsida –
    Order Pinales –
    Family Pinaceae – Pine family
    Genus Genus Pinus L. – pine
    Species Pinus edulis Engelm. – twoneedle pinyon

     

    Source:
    Dendrology at Virginia Tech
    U.S. Department of Agriculture