Pinus sabiniana

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Pinus sabiniana
5-6 yr old Pinus sabiana

Species Name: Pinus sabiniana
Common Name: Gray or Foothill Pine, Ghost Pine

Open, airy multi-trunk pine that has a vase or fan-like shape and beautiful grey foliage. Casts a light, feathery shade. Extremely tough and very picturesque. Sweet edible seeds.

Plant Family: Pinaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 40-80' H x 10-30' W
Growth Habit: Mult-trunked, open
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining, rocky
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to infrequent
Cold Hardy to: 5,000'
Flower Season: Cones
Flower Color: Cones
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Throughout California except in San Joaquin Valley, Cascade Range, and Northwest
Natural Habitat: Foothill woodland, Northern Oak Woodland, chaparral, infertile soils in mixed conifer/hardwood forests

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Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A rapid growing tree and the best pine for hot dry locations. Beautiful long drooping silvery green foliage. Quite distinct in appearance from other pines. In typical specimens the trunk has a habit of parking into several erect branches forming a broom-like top. Gallon cans, 50c; 5 gallon cans, $1.75."
Other Names
  • Also known by the derogatory common name Digger Pine.
  • Payne's 1941 catalog uses the common name Sabin Nut Pine.
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.