Foraging Wild Nuts: Pine Nuts

Photo of Eastern White Pine Cone Scales

Ever wondered where pine nuts come from?  From pine tree cones*, of course!  This partly dismantled cone of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) didn't have any pine nuts to show (botanically speaking they are seeds), but the paired indents on the underside of each bract mark where the seeds developed.  Nearly mature, unopened cones can be collected and dried or heated to induce opening.  While all of our native species produce edible seeds, none are as large as imported, store-bought varieties.

*These female seed cones are not to be confused with the short-lived male pollen cones.