Tree to 15 m or so tall with a broad canopy. Bark distinctive, peeling in scales much like a plane tree, showing green under newly-shed plates. Buds more or less ovoid, pointed, not resinous. Young shoots prominently ridged, green to waxy brown. Leaves in 3's, thin, 5-10 cm long, dark green; sheath deciduous in second year. Cones oblong to ovoid, 15-20 cm long, 10 cm wide; scales thick, terminated by a wrinkled downwardly projecting spur. Seeds 2-2.5 cm long, edible ('Chilgoza nuts' of Pakistan and Afghanistan), wing rudimentary.
W Himalaya in Afghanistan & N Pakistan where it mostly grows naturally in dry, rocky ground at alt. 2000-4000m.
Bark smooth, peeling in plates like that of the plane. Similar to P. bungeana but with longer and thinner leaves and larger cones with scales bent downwards.
VIC: Whittlesea (Fenwick Stud, Donnybrook Rd,12 m tall in 1987). SA: Wirrabra (E of Port Pirie, mature wide-girthed tree). TAS: Hobart (Royal Tasmanian Bot. Gds, 2 trees).
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.