It is a member of the hard pine group, Pinus subgenus Pinus, with leaves (‘needles’) in fascicles (bundles) of two, with a persistent sheath. They are 4.510 cm long and 1.52 mm thick. Cones are 59 cm long, with thin, fragile scales; they are dark blue-purple before maturation, turning brown when ripe about 1618 months after pollination. The 67 mm long seeds have a 22.5 cm wing and are wind-dispersed. Many in cultivation are still grown under the name “Pinus leucodermis” or “Pinus heldreichii var. leucodermis”.
Native to mountainous areas of the Balkans and southern Italy.
It is hardy down to at least ?45°C, and tolerant of severe wind exposure.