A tree up to 100 ft high in a wild state, and already more than half as high in cultivation; buds non-resinous, the bud-scales ridged at the back and with free points; young shoots greyish brown, furnished with scattered, stiff, small bristles. Leaves 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄16 to 1⁄12 in. wide; notched, rounded, or pointed at the apex; rather pale bright green above, with two bands of stomata beneath. On strong shoots the leaves are spread equally all over the upper side of the branchlet, those in the middle being shorter, erect, and pointing forwards; on weak shoots they are in two opposite sets, with a narrow or wide V-shaped opening between. Cones cylindrical, about 7 or 8 in. long and 2 to 21⁄2 in. wide, reddish brown; the scales are of remarkable size, being 13⁄4 to 2 in. wide, 1 in. deep not including the claw at the base; bracts completely hidden.
Native of Asia Minor and Syria, and often associated in a wild state with the cedar of Lebanon; discovered in 1853, introduced one or two years subsequently. Allied to A. nordmanniana, it differs in its paler, less dense foliage, and in the larger scales and enclosed bracts of the cones. It is subject to injury by late frosts and few good examples are known. A tree in the National Pinetum at Bedgebury grew rapidly to 92 × 71⁄4 ft (1964) but is now dying back. Others are: Adhurst St Mary, Hants, 73 × 7 ft (1964); Speech House, Glos., 64 × 71⁄4, growing fast but with many tops (1964); Smeaton Hepburn, E. Lothian, 62 × 51⁄2 ft (1966); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 58 × 51⁄2 ft, forks at 3 ft (1964).