Slender, columnar tree 20 m or so tall. Branches arching downwards. Buds 5-7 mm long, conical, pointed, reddish-brown, not or slightly resinous, scales pointed and awl shaped at base of bud. Young shoots hairy, pale yellow-brown to orange-brown. Leaves parted below shoot, 1-2 cm long and dark green, shiny above, with 2 broad white bands below, slightly pointed. Cones tapered to each end, 4-6 cm long, at top of tree only; scales broad, rounded and without teeth, stiff, thinly woody, margin entire. Seed about 3 mm long with wing less than 1 cm long.
Grows naturally by the River Drina at altitude c. 900-1700 m on limestone rocks. Mostly known through the cultivars.
Narrow habit with short upturned branches; leaves flattened, less than 2 cm long, not prickly; shoots hairy on both current and previous year's growth.
VIC: Dandenongs ('Pirianda'); Emerald Lake (above car park); Warburton (Old Chalet, South of Scotchman Ck Rd). TAS: Plenty (Salmon Ponds).
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.