Description from Flora of China
Trees to 30 m tall; trunk to 0.8 m d.b.h. in native range; bark orange- or purple-brown, furrowed into irregularly oblong, large, papery, scaly plates; crown conical, becoming rounded or flat topped; branchlets orange-brown, aging darker brown, stout, roughly scaly, producing 3 or 4 nodes each year; winter buds silvery brown, cylindric, scales fringed at margin. Needles 2 or 3 per bundle, slightly twisted, yellow- or blue-green, 15-20 (-24) cm × 0.2-1.5 mm, stomatal lines present on all surfaces, base with persistent sheath 1-2 cm, margin finely serrulate. Seed cones solitary or paired, pedunculate (peduncle to 3 cm), pale brown, ovoid or ovoid-cylindric when open, (7-)9-18(-20) cm, maturing in 2 years, then falling the year after seeds shed. Apophyses lustrous, slightly raised, strongly cross keeled; umbo depressed-pyramidal, with a short, stout prickle. Seeds dark brown, ellipsoid, 6-7 mm, apex oblique; wing to 2 cm.
Cultivated. Anhui (Jing Xian), Fujian (Minhou Xian), Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei (Wuhan Shi), Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi (Ji’an Xian), Taiwan, Yunnan (Kunming Shi), Zhejiang [native to SE United States]