Tree 12-20 m tall with a characteristic broad-domed 'mushroom' shape. Trunk often branching at a low level. Bark thick, with large orange-brown plates. Buds about 1-2 cm long, non-resinous with curled, fringed scales. Young shoots green becoming yellow-brown. Leaves in 2's, mostly 10-15 cm long but occasionally as short as 8 cm, stout, twisted and shining, mid-green; sheath persistent, to 1 cm long. Cones 10-14 cm long, 8-10 cm wide, terminal, ovoid, symmetrical, persistent and often closed on the tree, taking three years to ripen; scales with rounded tips. Seeds about 1.5 cm long with a very loose, vestigial 3 mm long wing.
A popular ornamental pine for its picturesque habit and edible seeds; though widely grown in the nineteenth century this species is now less frequently cultivated. Possibly the first trees used for avenue planting in Australia, used as the approach to Government House along Bridge Street (and elsewhere) in Sydney and a signature tree in many New South Wales townships.
Seeds are the edible pine nuts used in cooking.
Flat-crowned 'mushroom' habit with orange-plated bark and trunk often divided near base into 2-4 main trunks; roundish cones with large, blunt scales and virtually wingless seeds.
SA: Adelaide (Scotch College); Mt Gambier (Blue Lake; Leg of Mutton Lake); Penola (Yallum Park); Reynella (150 m W of Panalatinga Rd between Lantana Rd &Field River, 4 trees ptd c. 1880 to mark site of pioneer house built in 1839); Watervale (adjacent to Eaglehawk winery). NSW: Bathurst (Victoria Park); Batlow (Pilot Hill Arboretum); Berrima (Park); Mittagong (Albert St); Murrumbateman; Orange ('Duntryleague' Golf Club, parking area near Pro. Shop); Narrandera (School Dental Clinic c. 1873); Sutton Forest (cemetery); Sydney (Royal Bot. Gds); Wagga Wagga (Collins Park; Sports Oval). ACT: Duntroon (Woolshed Creek; Scout Hall, Mooreshead Drive ptd pre-1900); Reid (St John's Church). VIC: Birregurra (Avenue of 9 trees in main street); Castlemaine (Bot. Gds); Coldstream (corner Melba Highway &Healesville Rd opposite 'Coombe Cottabe', Dame Nellie Melba's old home, 5 trees); Dandenongs (Mt Dandenong Arboretum, 20 m tall in 1980; 'Pirianda', 9 m in 1984); Creswick; Geelong (Eastern Park); Gisborne (avenue to Gisborne Park near Couangate Rd S of Gisborne on Calder Hwy); Inglewood (Picnic Area); Kew (Victoria Park); Keilor (roadside old freeway); Kensington (corner Footscray and Smithfield Roads, several trees); Learmonth (c. 1 km past township on west side of road to Avoca, a grove of self-seeding trees); Mildura (Arts Centre, 2); ); Moorabbin (Kingston Centre); Taradale (Calder Highway between Taradale &Malmsbury); Pt Cook (Homestead); Shelford (roadside on way to Cressy); Woorragee (2 trees). TAS - Hobart (Government House; Queens Domain); Launceston (City Park); Westbury (Oval).
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.