The Pinus Muricata
is commonly known as Bishop Pine
, Bishop's Pine
, California Swamp Pine
, as well as Prickle-cone Pine< Go Back
Bishop pine occurs in disjunct populations in coastal California from
Humboldt County south to Santa Barbara County. It is also found on
Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands, and in Baja California, Mexico
The currently accepted scientific name of bishop pine is Pinus muricata
D. Don [8
]. Recognized varieties are [28
Pinus muricata var. borealis (Howell) Axelrod
Pinus muricata var. stantonii Axelrod
Pinus muricata var. muricata
Bishop pine rarely hybridizes with Monterey pine (P. radiata); timing of
cone opening usually differs in the two species [8
Bishop pine is frequently dominant in closed-cone pine forests
[15,27,37,42,44]. Stands are open with little or no understory on dry,
rocky sites, with a more dense understory on moist sites . Bishop
pine also occurs in mesic border areas of woodlands and savannas .
In the northern part of its range, bishop pine occurs in pure stands and
in redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii),
and pygmy forests [15,26,28,44]. In the southern portion of its
range, it is found in annual grassland, coastal sage scrub, and chaparral
communities. Scattered bisop pine stands often form a mosaic with these
Bishop pine is named as a dominant tree in the following published
Terrestrial natural communities of California 
A vegetation classification system applied to southern California 
The southern California islands 
Vascular plant communities of California 
The closed-cone pines and cypress 
Associated canopy species not previosly mentioned include Gowen cypress
(Cupressus goveniana ), Monterey cypress (C. macrocarpa), Tecate cypress
(C. guadalupensis var. forbesii), Mendocino cypress (C. goveniana var.
pigmaea), Bolander pine (Pinus contorta var. bolanderi), Monterey pine
(Pinus radiata), and Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) [3,6,17,26,45].
Understory associates include glossyleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos
nummularia), woollyleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos tomentosa), Pacific
rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), California huckleberry
(Vaccinium ovatum), and salal (Gautheria shallon) [3,15,17,26,44].
< Go Back
Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Cope, Amy B. 1993. Pinus muricata. 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.