The Pinus Leiophylla Var. Chihuahuana
is commonly known as Chihuahua Pine
, Pino Real
, as well as Yellow Pine< Go Back
Chihuahua pine is found in the mountains of southeastern Arizona and
southwestern New Mexico [17
]. The main part of its range
extends southward along the Sierra Madre Occidental to southern Mexico
The currently accepted scientific name of Chihuahua pine is Pinus
leiophylla Scheide & Dieppe var. chihuahuana (Engelm.) Shaw. It is a
member of the pine family (Pinaceae) [17
]. There is disagreement
about its taxonomic status; some authors have elevated it to specific
status, Pinus chihuahuana Engelm. [32
Chihuahua pine has three needles per bundle, and ocote (Pinus leiophylla
Scheide & Dieppe var. leiophylla Shaw) has five needles per bundle
]. This report presents information on Chihuahua pine.
Chihuahua pine commonly occurs in mixed forests and woodlands composed
of evergreen conifers and oaks (Quercus spp.) [15,38,48]. It occurs in
or just above the Madrean evergreen woodlands and pygmy conifer-oak
woodlands [10,51]. Chihuahua pine extends upward in elevation into the
mixed pine (Pinus spp.) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests
Pine-oak woodlands have a diagnostic understory of evergreen oaks with
emergent pines over 16.4 feet (5 m) tall such as Chihuahua pine and
Mexican pinyon (Pinus cembroides) [12,18,49,51,72]. These woodlands are
climax over a wide area from southern Arizona to Mexico .
Chihuahua pine occurs as scattered individuals in pine forests, often
with Arizona pine (Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica), interior ponderosa
pine (P. p. var. scopulorum), and Apache pine (P. engelmannii) [22,26,42].
Chihuahua pine is the principal tree in the Chihuahua pine series
[1,9,20,24,38,50]. Minor climax species or codominants with Chihuahua
pine in some areas are Arizona pine, Mexican pinyon, Arizona cypress
(Cupressus arizonica), and junipers (Juniperus spp.) [25,38,59,72].
Chihuahua pine is subdominant in Apache pine/silverleaf oak (Quercus
hypoleucoides) habitat types and white fir (Abies concolor) forests
Chihuahua pine is found as scattered individuals in encinal oak
woodlands such as Arizona white oak (Q. arizonica)-silverleaf oak and
Arizona white oak-Emory oak (Q. emoryi) community types [13,20,29,
32,59]. It is a characteristic species in Mexican blue oak (Q.
oblongifolia) communities .
Infrequently, Chihuahua pine occurs in interior chaparral community
types such as pointleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens)-silverleaf
oak and pointleaf manzanita-Toumey oak (Q. toumeyi) .
Chihuahua pine is a common tree in riparian associations in various
communities such as the Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii) series and
Arizona cypress associations [12,19,49,54,64].
Chihuahua pine is listed as a dominant or indicator species in the
(1) Classification of the forest vegetation on the National Forests of
Arizona and New Mexico 
(2) Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona
south of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico 
(3) A digitized computer-compatible classification for natural and
potential vegetation in the Southwest with particular reference to
(4) Forest habitat types south of the Mogollon Rim, Arizona and New
(5) Preliminary classification for the coniferous forest and woodland
series of Arizona and New Mexico 
(6) A series vegetation classification for Region 3 .
Species associated with Chihuahua pine but not previously mentioned in
OCCURRENCE AND DISTRIBUTION include Arizona madrone (Arbutus arizonica),
Arizona walnut (Juglans major), thinleaf alder (Alnus incana ssp.
tenuifolia), pinyon ricegrass (Piptochaetium fimbriatum), and longtongue
muhly (Muhlenbergia longiligula) [19,38,59,64,65].
< Go Back
Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Pavek, Diane S. 1994. Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.