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Woody > Pinus > Pinus jeffreyi > Pinus jeffreyi

Pinus jeffreyi

Jeffery Pine

Origin:  P. jeffreyi was discovered in the Shasta Valley of California by botanist John Jeffrey in 1852. It was originally classified as a variety of P. ponderosa due to its physical resemblance and similar geographic range.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


A nice specimen pine with long blue/green needles which are longer than the needles of the similar P. ponderosa. The cones are large enough to add an excellent point of interest and can be eaten. The large trunk has a nice dark red/brown tone and adds to the colour contrast between the needles and bark. A great tree in winter that is slightly more tolerant to temperature extremes than P. ponderosa.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
40 m
8 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A single trunked, statuesque tree growing to about 40 m in height with a trunk diameter of about 1.5 m. The bark is deeply furrowed and is reddish/brown in colour. Crown is conical to columnar with an irregularly rounded top when mature.
Good for a specimen plant or ornamental, as it requires careful siting with respect to soil conditions in order for it to develop. The soil must be well drained, loose, course, sandy or gravelly. Not tolerant of shade, ozone pollution or salt.
Uncommonly or rarely cultivated. Fairly tolerant when young and is a prolific seeder. Soil demands are moderate but must be in a well drained, loose, course, sandy or gravelly soil.
Pyrimidal when young, as it ages it forms a dome shaped crown and overall conical shape.
ID Characteristic
Needles are 14-27 cm long, twisted and blue/green in colour. Cones are 13-35 cm long with sharp spines that face inwards. Looks very similar to P. ponderosa, yet P. jeffreyi has longer needles and longer cones with flat bottoms. When bruised, P. jeffreyi has a much sweeter smell than P. ponderosa, similar to vanilla or pineapple.
Squirrels, mice and birds can consume a large number of seeds. Seems to not be affected by many diseases in Ontario, although Pine needle scale has been seen and any disease that can affect P. ponderosa could also cause a problem with P. jeffreyi.
High, dry, mountain forests from southern Oregon to California.
Bark/Stem Description
Dark red/brown bark is deeply furrowed, with ridges forming narrow irregularly connected paths with one another. In old trees, the bark becomes deeply broken into long wide plates of bright red/brown.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Buds are ovoid/tan-red/brown in colour and 2-3 cm long. They are not resinous and scale margins are fringed. New growth is stout, 2 cm thick, purple in colour and often glaucous.
Leaf Description
Needles grown in fascicles of 3, are about 14-27 cm long by 2 mm wide, blue-green to pale grey in colour, with a slight twist. Needles persist on branches for 4-6 years.
Flower Description
Monecious. Male flowers are 3-4 cm long, cylindrical, yellow and are held terminally. Female flowers are red, round, 1.5 cm long and in pairs, which are held terminally as well.
Fruit Description
Cones are 13-35 cm long and the scales are thin. Armed with a stout, long, incurved prickle. Purple at maturity and are light orange/brown when shed.
Colour Description
Dark blue/green to pale grey; needles have no autumn colour. The bark is red/brown with brighter colour inside furrows. Cones are purple when young, and orange/brown when mature.
Texture Description
Medium to coarse.
Notable Specimens
Two in the Arboretum at the University of Guelph in the conifers section, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Whistling Gardens, Wilsonville, Ontario, Canada.
Easily propagated from seed. Seeds germinate best after 60 days of stratification around 5° C. Seeds should be sown above a maximum depth of 6-8 mm in mineral soils in full sun. To raise healthy Jeffrey Pines, soil management is very important; soil aeration and rapid drainage is crucial.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Harvested for wood and the resin, which can be distilled into a very pure form of n-heptane. This is used as the zero point on the octane rating scale for petrol.