A broad tree about 10 m tall, sometimes branching near the base to give several ascending branches. Bark fissured; on older trees in large scales, orange beneath and reddish in higher trunk like p. sylvestris. Buds cylindrical, long-pointed, often grouped with the lateral ones at right angles to the shoot; scales fringed. Young shoots waxy grey. Leaves in 3's, rarely 4's, slender, bright green, mostly 18-20 cm long pointing forwards at first then pendulous; sheath 1.5-2.5 cm long. Cones curved (most noticeable when closed), persistent, often in clusters of 2-5 or more, ovoid-conical, 8-12 cm long, strongly asymmetrical at the base; scales sometimes with minute prickle Seed about 7 mm long with wing about 2 cm long.
Quick-growing in summer rainfall areas where it is occasionally used as a timber tree as in Dorrigo, New South Wales. An environmental weed in Africa in the natural forests of E Transvaal and E Rhodesia, also naturalised on the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
C & E Mexico.
Red bark on upper trunk like P. sylvestris; waxy grey new shoots; extremely slender pendulous leaves; cones in clusters, curved and persistent. Pinus patula subsp. tecunumanii (Eguiluz &Perry) Styles, from SE Mexico and C America grows naturally at altitude 600-2500 m and attains heights of 55 m; it is a recently introduced fast-growing timber tree cultivated in SE Queensland and differs in having leaves in 3's, 4's (and a few in 5's) and slightly asymmetrical, stalked cones that open when ripe.
NSW: Bowral (Kangalon Street); Clouds Creek (State Forest 24 m in 1976, ptd 1954); Dorrigo (plantation); Mt Tomah (Bot. Gds); Sydney (Concord, 'Rivendell'; Royal Bot. Gds by harbour; Thomas Walker Hospital c. 20 m tall). VIC: Bacchus Marsh (Entrance to Gibbons Nursery); Bowral (Kangalon St); Creswick (Forestry School, demonstration softwood area ptd 1981); Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, Hopetoun Lawn); Dandenongs (Hamer Arboretum, ptd 1978, 'Pirianda' c. 9 m tall in 1984); Maryborough (Phillip Gds).
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.