Description from Flora of China
Pinus cembra Linnaeus var. pumila Pallas, Fl. Ross. 1(1): 5. 1784; P. cembra var. pygmaea Loudon.
Shrubs to 6 m tall, usually with creeping branches to 10 m; bark gray-brown, flaking; branchlets initially brown, dark red-brown in 2nd or 3rd year, densely pubescent; winter buds red-brown, conical-ovoid, slightly resinous. Needles 5 per bundle, trapeziform in cross section, 4-6(-8.3) cm × ca. 1 mm, stiff, vascular bundle 1, resin canals (1 or)2, marginal, base with sheath shed. Seed cones erect, maturing to pale purple- or red-brown, conical-ovoid or ovoid, 3-4.5 × 2.5-3 cm, indehiscent or imperfectly dehiscent at maturity. Seed scales broadly subrhombic or rhombic-obovate; apophyses broadly triangular, thick, swollen, margin slightly recurved; umbo purple-black, distinct, ending in a slightly recurved protuberance. Seeds dark brown, triangular-obovoid, 7-10 × 5-7 mm, wingless, abaxial margin ridged.
Mountains; 1000-2300 m. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Nei Mongol [Japan, Korea, N Mongolia, E Russia]