A dense, conical shrub mostly 1-3 m tall but there are several dwarf cultivars sometimes almost prostrate. Bark grey, scaly. Buds more or less ovoid-cylindrical, 4-8 mm long or more with resinous scales pressed to the stem. Young shoots green to brown. Leaves in 2's, 3-6 cm long, rigid and twisted, dark, dull green; sheaths persistent, to 1 cm long. Cones dark brown, ovoid, 2-6 cm long, symmetrical, deciduous; scales with a pale grey prickle. Naturalised on the North Island of New Zealand.
var. pumilio (Haenke) Zenari a small shrubby or prostrate alpine plant suitable for cool areas.
Mts C & S Europe.
Shrubby habit; curved, short leaves.
NSW: Batlow (Pilot Hill Arboretum). VIC: Dandenongs ('Pirianda').
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.
Foliage extremely bright gold in winter, green in summer. Grows about 15 cm a year. Seedling selection of var. pumilio, Ferny Ceek Nursery, Victoria, Australia; introduced early 1990s.
('Variegated') Slow-growing, becoming wider than high; foliage with yellow variegation throughout. Golden branch sport discovered by John Emery, Drue Nsy, Berry, New South Wales, Australia.
Dwarf, dense, round, leaves dark green. Selected from seedlings of var. mughus (Scop.) Zenari by Den Ouden Nursery, Boskoop, Netherlands and distributed 1927.
A dense, compact shrub with striking lemon coloured new spring growth. Grows about 1 m in 10 years. Introduced by Ron Radford of Cedar Lodge Nursery, Sulphur Creek, Tasmania; introduced c. 1970.
Dwarf, round, dense, slow growing with short branches. Introduced 1951 by Hooftman Nursery, Boskoop, Netherlands.
Dark green, low, spreading, flat-topped; needles slightly curved. Grows about 1 m in 10 years. Seedling of var. pumilio discovered by Don Teese and introduced by Yamina Rare Plants Nsy, Victoria, Australia c. 1975.
Leaves banded alternately yellow and green; possibly identical to 'Gerringong'. Origin unknown but presumed Australia.
Open bush with leaves pale green, turning yellowish in winter. Originated Draijer b. V. Nursery, Heemstede, Netherlands.
Round bush with foliage golden in winter. Seedling of var. pumilio discovered by Don Teese and introduced by Yamina Rare Plants Nsy, Victoria, Australia c. 1975.