© David Blevins (Photo ID #477)
Tree, mostly to 30 m tall, but up to 40 m; var. latifolia mostly straight and columnar with narrow rounded crown, var. contorta often somewhat contorted and even bonsai-like; bark reddish-brown to blackish, cracked at the base and somewhat flaky above, furrowed and thicker in var. contorta.
Needles in groups of two, usually curved and slightly twisted, 2-7 cm long; deep green in var. contorta, yellowish-green in var. latifolia.
Seed cones egg-shaped, lopsided, 3-6 cm long; stiff bracts with armed tips; serotinous; cones point backwards on twig in var. contorta, outward in var. latifolia; pollen cones reddish-green in clusters at tips of branches.
See above re hybridization with P. banksiana. Two varieties are generally recognized in BC.
1. Trees usually with rounded crown, rarely over 15 m tall; bark dark brown to greyish-black, 2-2.5 cm thick on older trees; needles deep green; coastal............... var. contorta (shore pine)
1. Trees usually columnar when close together, 20-40 m tall; bark reddish-brown, very thin, rarely over 1 cm thick; needles yellowish-green; inland..................... var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Wats. (lodgepole pine)