Trees to 25 m; trunk to 1 m diam.; crown spirelike, narrow. Bark red-brown, thin, smooth, with age slightly fissured and broken into appressed scales. Branches diverging from trunk at right angles, the lower often drooping in age; twigs becoming purplish green or brown, glabrous, glaucous when young. Buds exposed, brown, ovate to fusiform, extremely large, not resinous, apex pointed; basal scales short, broad, equilaterally triangular, glabrous, not resinous, margins entire, apex sharp-pointed. Leaves 2.5--6cm ´ 3mm, 2-ranked to spiraled, stiff; cross section flat, with raised vein abaxially, grooveless to faintly grooved adaxially; odor pungent; abaxial surface with 8--10 stomatal rows on each side of midrib; adaxial surface dark green, lacking stomates; apex sharply pointed; resin canals small, near margins and abaxial epidermal layer. Pollen cones at pollination yellow to yellow-green. Seed cones ovoid, 7--10 ´ 4--5cm, pale purplish brown, borne on stout peduncles, apex round; scales ca. 1.5--2 ´ 2--2.5cm, glabrous; bracts exserted, not reflexed. Seeds 10 ´ 5mm, body deep red-brown; wing about as long as body, deep red-brown; cotyledons ca. 7. Dry, coastal coniferous forests; of conservation concern; 600--900m; Calif. Abies bracteata grows in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the coast of California.