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  • San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Gardens

Plants: Species

Pine: Torrey Pine Pinus torreyana

FAMILY: PINACEAE (Pine Family)

One of the rarest trees in existence, the Pinus torreyana is native to only two places: coastal Del Mar and Santa Rosa, one of the Channel Islands off California's central coast. There are several big pines in the Conifer Arboretum at theSafari Park and one slim adolescent in the Channel Islands section of the Park's Nativescapes Garden.

The silhouette of a Torrey pine Pinus torreyana against the ocean sunset is one of the signature sights of the Del Mar and La Jolla coastal communities, yet this picturesque tree is threatened with extinction. Without the protection of a local visionary, Miss Ellen Browning Scripps, the Torrey pine might have disappeared forever. In the early 1900s, she bought the land where the majority of the trees stood, an area now designated as the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Today, there are several thousand of the pines living on these windblown, sandstone cliffs, and more are being established in inland areas, like at the Safari Park. As a flagship species for California's native plants, a Torrey pine is a good choice in planting for the future.