Billings, Montana @ ZooMontana
Catalogue A# 2001-005 LX1
GPS 45D 43' 49" N ? 108D 37' 22" W
Origin: Southwestern United States
Common name: Bristlecone Pine
Location: Lynx Habitat, East viewing area-Lynx
Number in accession: 3
Courtesy of Wikipedia
The term bristlecone pine covers three species of pine tree (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae). All three species are long-lived and highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils. One of the three species, Pinus longaeva, is among the longest-lived life forms on Earth. The oldest Pinus longaeva is more than 5,000 years old, making it the oldest known individual of any species.
Despite their potential age and low reproductive rate, bristlecone pines, particularly Pinus longaeva, are usually a first-succession species, tending to occupy new open ground. They generally compete poorly in less-than-harsh environments, making them hard to cultivate. In gardens, they succumb quickly to root rot. They do very well, however, where most other plants cannot even grow, such as in rocky dolomitic soils in areas with virtually no rainfall.
Bristlecone pines grow in scattered subalpine groves at high altitude in arid regions of the Western United States. The name comes from the prickles on the female cones.
One other example of a Bristlecone Pine can be seen on the South Hill of the Sensory garden. The arboretum has a grove of Bristlecones located off trail and can be seen by appointment, contact ZooMontana for more information. Check out our Mystery Grove Page below: