Native Plant of the Month: Shore Pine

Photo of Shore Pine.

Common Name: Shore Pine 

Binomial Name: Pinus contorta var. contorta 

Soil Type: Adaptable, prefers dry 

Sunlight: Full to part sun 

Plant Type: Small tree 

Form: Irregular, broadly rounded 

Foliage: Evergreen needles 

Fruit/Flower: Cones

Getting its common name (Shore Pine) from being adaptable and resilient enough to thrive along Pacific Northwest beaches, Found up to 600 m: on rocky ridges, coastal sand dunes, and in bogs, The Pinus contorta gets its binomial name from the tree’s “contorted” shape caused by windy coastal conditions. Shore Pines are relatively small, fast-growing evergreens with a broadly rounded shape that varies greatly based on the landscape they’re planted in. 

The furrowed bark is dark brown to blackish often with large patches of pitch on the trunk. Slightly flattened, small needlelike, dark green leaves are arranged in 2 per fascicle. Reddish green seed cones are asymmetric and persistent, some taking many years to mature. The tips of each scale ends in a prickle. Cones mature between September and October, seed dispersal shortly follows. 

This Native Plant of the Month has been brought to you by the City of Beaverton’s Landscape and Urban Forestry Department along with Clean Water Services. Visit Clean Water Service’s Native Plant Finder webpage for interactive questions to help you find the right native plant to fit your needs!