Tree to 15 m or more tall, narrowly conical to columnar. Shoot yellow to reddish-brown, ridged and with reddish-brown hairs. Buds 5-6 mm long, conical, the lower scales ridged and extending beyond the tip. Leaves 1-1.5 cm long, mostly bluish to dark green, blunt, densely distributed, parted below shoot. Cones 2.5-3.5 cm long, in clusters, mostly glossy red-brown; scales thinly woody, shiny. Seed about 3 mm long with wing 1-1.5 cm long.
Grows naturally on stony hillsides but also in bogs and swamps in N America.
Shoots densely reddish hairy; lower bud scales narrowed and pointed; cones small, ovoid with shiny scales. The closely related and occasionally cultivated P. rubens is generally more robust with leaves pale green (not dark green or waxy blue) above, and cones 2.5-6 cm long; it can be seen at Batlow (Pilot Hill Arboretum), Mt Tomah Bot. Gds and in Victoria at Narbethong ('St Fillans').
NSW: Mt Tomah (Bot. Gds); Sydney (Royal Bot. Gds). VIC: Emerald Lake (above car park); Narbethong ('St Fillans', 17.5 m tall in 1994).
Source: (1995). Pinaceae. 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.
Extremely neat, dwarf with bluish leaves; plants under this name possibly P. abies 'Beissneri'. Origin Germany nineteenth century.