Description from Flora of China
Shrubs erect or procumbent, or small trees to 12 m tall; branches ascending or horizontally spreading; branchlets densely arranged, straight or curved, usually short, not angled. Leaves in whorls of 3, spreading or ascending, sometimes nearly appressed, needlelike, straight or slightly curved, (2.5-) 5-10 × 1-1.5 mm, slightly concave, with white stomatal bands adaxially, obtusely ridged with longitudinal, thin groove on ridge or at base abaxially, base decurrent, apex acute or acuminate. Pollen cones ovoid, 3-4 mm; microsporophylls 9-12, each with 3 pollen sacs. Seed cones black or bluish black when ripe, ovoid or subglobose, 4-8 × 4-6 mm, 1-seeded. Seeds ovoid, 3.5-6 × 2-5 mm, ridged, with resin pits.
Four varieties occur in China: var. squamata and var. fargesii are commonly recognized, whereas the other two were recently described from single collections and need further study, given the wide geographical range and considerable variation found in the foliage of this species.
Forests, thickets, valleys, and roadsides in mountain areas; 1600-4500 m. S Anhui, W Fujian, S Gansu, E Guizhou, W Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bhutan, N India, Kashmir, N Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sikkim]