Description from Flora of China
Trees to 35 m tall; trunk to 1 m d.b.h.; bark gray brown, smooth; branchlets yellowish gray, shining; winter buds globose, resinous. Leaves ascending, rarely pectinately arranged in 2 lateral sets, light green adaxially, linear, flattened, (1.5-)2-3 (-4) cm × ca. 1.5 mm, stomatal lines in 2 white bands abaxially, resin canals 2, median, apex emarginate, acute or obtuse on cone-bearing branchlets. Seed cones brown or dark brown at maturity, cylindric, 5-9.5 × 2.5-3.5 cm. Seed scales at middle of cones obtriangular-flabellate or flabellate-trapeziform, usually slightly contracted at middle, 1.7-2.5 × 1.6-2.4 cm, exposed part densely pubescent abaxially, base pedicellate. Bracts cuneate-obovate, short, 1/3-1/2 as long as seed scales, distal margin erose-denticulate, apex slightly rounded. Seeds slightly appressed, obtriangular, ca. 7 mm; wing light blue distally, cuneate, 0.7-1.3 cm. Pollination May, seed maturity Oct-Nov.
Only var. sibirica, described here, occurs in China; var. semenovii (B. Fedtschenko) Farjon (A. semenovii B. Fedtschenko) occurs in Kyrgyzstan and differs as follows: branchlets prominently ridged and grooved; resin canals marginal; seed cones yellowish brown; bracts broader.
A vulnerable species in China. The timber is used for construction, furniture, and wood pulp.
Mountains, river basins; 1900-2400 m. NE Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, N Russia]