Trees to 30m; trunk to 0.8m diam., straight to contorted; crown conic, becoming rounded or flattened. Bark orange- to purple-brown, irregularly furrowed and cross-checked into large, irregularly rectangular, papery-scaly plates. Branches spreading to ascending; twigs stout (to ca. 1cm thick), orange-brown, aging darker brown, rough-scaly. Buds cylindric, silvery brown, 1.5--2cm; scale margins fringed. Leaves 2 or 3 per fascicle, spreading or ascending, persisting ca. 2 years, 15--20(--23)cm ´ 1.2--1.5mm, straight, slightly twisted, pliant, yellow- to blue-green, all surfaces with stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex abruptly acute to acuminate; sheath 1--2cm, base persistent. Pollen cones cylindric, 30--40mm, purplish. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, falling the year after seed-shed, single or in pairs, symmetric, lance-ovoid before opening, ovoid or ovoid-cylindric when open, (7--)9--18(--20)cm, light chocolate brown, on stalks to 3cm; apophyses lustrous (as if varnished), slightly raised, strongly cross-keeled; umbo central, depressed-pyramidal, with short, stout prickle. Seeds ellipsoid, oblique-tipped; body 6--7mm, dark brown; wing to 20mm.