Tree or shrub to c. 10-15 m tall. Branches ascending or spreading. Foliage dark green, rarely bluish. Leaves 2-4 mm long, rounded on the back. Female cones solitary or clustered, 2.5-3 cm wide, ovoid to compressed spherical, persistent; scales thick, fused at the base and often slightly warty.
Grows naturally in sandy rises of the mallee and on sandstone ridges and hillsides, rarely in woodland. This species is either split into 3 subspecies:
subsp. preissii, (syn. C. robusta R. Br. ex F. Muell.,) is possibly better referred to C. gracilis R.T. Bak. and has mature cones wider than long,
subsp. murrayensis J. Garden, Murray Pine (probably better referred to C. gracilis subsp. murrayensis J. Garden) with mature cones longer than wide
subsp. verrucosa (A. Cunn. ex Endl.) J. Garden with scales densely warty - or at least 2 of the subspecies are recognised at species level.
WA, SA, NSW, Vic.
Large, persistent cones with thick, often warty scales fused at the base.
SA: Enfield (Folland Park - stand of indigenous trees in the most significant surviving mallee vegetation in metropolitan Adelaide). ACT: Australian National Bot. Gds.
Source: (1995). Cupressaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.