Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Hardy Plants for Waterwise Landscapes

Pinus aristata
Bristlecone pine

Pinus aristata trees (V. Lohr)

Plant form

Small, dense, conical, evergreen tree.


40 feet tall by 25 feet wide.


Stiff needles in tight groups of 5; 1 to 2" long. Needles are dark green and covered with prominent dots of white resin. Needles can live for more than 20 years before dropping, giving the branches the appearance of bottle brushes.


Woody cones about 4 inches long.  They are covered in resin and have a stiff bristle at the end of each cone scale.

Native area

Southwestern United States.

Water use

Low to very low.


Full sun.

Culture and Maintenance

Very easy to grow. Tolerates wind, drought, cold, and extreme temperature swings. Grows in a wide range of soil pH. Relatively free of insect and disease problems. Resistant to white pine blister rust.


USDA Zone 4.


Slow growing. Long lived.
Pinus aristata (V. Lohr)


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