Shrubs or trees to 21m; trunk to 0.6m diam., strongly tapering, erect; crown conic, rounded, dense. Bark red-brown, shallowly and irregularly furrowed, ridges scaly, rounded. Branches persistent to near trunk base; twigs pale red-brown to tan, rarely glaucous, aging gray-brown to gray, glabrous to papillose-puberulent. Buds ovoid to ellipsoid, red-brown, 0.5--1cm, resinous. Leaves (1--)2(--3) per fascicle, upcurved, persisting 4--6 years, 2--4cm ´ (0.9--)1--1.5mm, connivent, 2-sided (1-leaved fascicles with leaves 2-grooved, 3-leaved fascicles with leaves 3-sided), blue-green, all surfaces marked with pale stomatal bands, particularly the adaxial, margins entire or finely serrulate, apex narrowly acute to subulate; sheath 0.5--0.7cm, scales soon recurved, forming rosette, shed early. Pollen cones ellipsoid, ca. 7mm, yellowish to red-brown. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds and falling soon thereafter, spreading, symmetric, ovoid before opening, depressed-ovoid to nearly globose when open, ca. (3.5--)4(--5)cm, pale yellow- to pale red-brown, resinous, nearly sessile to short-stalked; apophyses thickened, raised, angulate; umbo subcentral, slightly raised or depressed, truncate or umbilicate. Seeds mostly ellipsoid to obovoid; body 10--15mm, brown, wingless. 2 n =24. Dry mountain slopes, mesas, plateaus, and pinyon-juniper woodland; 1500--2100(--2700)m; Ariz., Calif., Colo., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Utah, Wyo.; Mexico in Chihuahua. Pinus edulis var. fallax Little ( P . californiarum subsp. fallax (Little) D.K.Bailey) appears to combine features of P . edulis and P . monophylla . More study is needed. Seeds of Pinus edulis , the commonest southwestern United States pinyon, are much eaten and traded by Native Americans.
Pinyon ( Pinus edulis ) is the state tree of New Mexico.