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Prickle Cone Pine Tree

Prickle Cone Pine TreeThe Prickle-Cone Pine (P. muricata, D. Don.) is a handsome round-topped evergreen, covered with dense tufts of stiff, yellow-green leaves. It is the dominant pine of the coast of Mendocino County, and follows down in sight of the ocean into Lower California. The oblique cones, whose thickened scales are armed with sharp, strong beaks, are conspicuous by their persistence for years unopened on the branch. It is rare for them to fall, even after they open and discharge the seed. They usually remain throughout the lifetime of the tree, but strangely are never swallowed up by the growth of the branch that bears them.