The leaves are needle-like,
light green and 4-sided with no conspicuous pale lines beneath.
They are 10-20 mm long, with a short, horny point. The leaves are arranged
all round the shoots and attached by short stalks, which remains as
pegs when the leaves fall.
is an introduced, evergreen,
coniferous tree which grows
up to 40 m in height. It is conical in shape with upper branches ascending,
but lower branches level or drooping. It has a smooth bark and is
widely planted, but rarely self-sown.
Male and female
flowers are in separate clusters on the same tree(monoecious)
and appear in May and June.
Pink female flowers
are arranged in pairs of inflorescences
which develop into cones. The male
inflorescences are yellow
and grouped at the ends of shoots.
cones are 10-15 cm long and
hang downwards. (They are pendulous).
The timber is
of good quality and is used for building, pit-props, packing cases
The wood is
sometimes known as 'violin wood', because of its value for making
the sounding boards (fronts) of violins.
A native of
Northern Europe extending south and east to the Balkans, it was
introduced into Britain in the 16th century