Flora Friday

You can spot one of the few evergreen trees within the Mojave Desert, singleleaf pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla), dotting the foothills, mouths of canyons, and high elevation mountains within Red Rock Canyon. These trees can grow up to 35 feet tall and are very wide-branched with thick & sharp needles. During fall, look for singleleaf pinyon pines to have cones with edible pine nuts. Native peoples harvested these nuts as a critical fall and winter food source. Wildlife, such as birds and mammals, also enjoy eating the nuts. Singleleaf pinyon pines are often found in gravelly soils growing near Utah juniper trees (Juniperus osteosperma), another evergreen tree.

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