A very large tree, from one hundred to three hundred feet high, two to fifteen feet in diameter. Leaves: linear, obtuse, with two lateral resin-ducts close to the epidermis of the lower side. Flowers: monoecious, from the axils of the previous year's leaves; the staminate ones an oblong column surrounded and partly enclosed by numerous conspicuous bud-scales; the pistillate ones with scales much shorter than the linear, aristate bracts. Fruit: the cones maturing the first year, with persistent scales and exserted bracts.

This grand tree is one of the glories of the forest, with its glossy, crowded leaves, which are rounded at the apex, yellowish-green on the top and have a green midnerve beneath. Its enormous trunk, covered with rough, brown bark, stands up tall and straight like a gigantic ship's mast, while the cones are pendant on long stout stems, and have trident-shaped bracts below the scales.