Distribution: Widely distributed throughout much of Washington; Alaska south to southern Oregon, east in the higher mountains to Alberta, Canada, and Colorado.
Habitat: Subalpine to alpine slopes, where commonly in krumholtz form.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
A small tree, to 30 m. tall, with a narrow crown and short, stiff branches; at high elevations, dwarfed and shrub-like.
Bark thin, grayish, but brownish underneath; young twigs finely reddish-pubescent.
Needles bluish-green, 2.5-3 cm. long, blunt, tending to turn upward, the upper surface with a continuous white band, the lower surface with 2 narrow white bands separated by the mid-vein.
Staminate cones bluish, pendant and catkin-like, up to 10 mm. long, on the lower side of branches near the middle of the tree or above; ovulate cones only near the top of the tree, single and erect, deep purple, 6-10 cm. long and 3-3.5 cm. thick, the slender tips of the bracts projecting past the scales at time of pollination, later concealed.