A bristlecone pine branch

Great Basin bristlecone pine

Great Basin bristlecone pines are restricted to the mountain ranges of California, Nevada and Utah and have a remarkable ability to survive in this extremely harsh and challenging environment. They grow extremely slowly, and are some of the oldest living organisms in the world. With some aged at almost 5,000 years these amazing trees can reveal information about Earth's climate variations. Amazingly, the leaves, or needles, can remain green for over 45 years.

Did you know?
At 5,000 years old the great basin bristlecone pines of North America are some of the oldest living organisms in the world.

Scientific name: Pinus longaeva

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Intermountain bristlecone pine ,
  • Western bristlecone pine

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

The Great Basin bristlecone pine can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Great Basin bristlecone pine distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 1998

Classified by: IUCN 2.3

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Plants
  3. Conifers
  4. Pinopsida
  5. Modern conifers
  6. Pinaceae
  7. Pines
  8. Great Basin bristlecone pine

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Nature's record breakers Nature's record breakers

    Animal kingdom record breakers - how fast can a cheetah run, how heavy is an elephant and what's bigger than a dinosaur? Watch amazing video clips from the BBC archive and uncover the fascinating facts about our smallest primate, the longest stick insect and the most venomous snake.