A tree usually 20 to 40 ft high; young shoots reddish brown, shining, not downy, very stiff and sturdy, with the crowded leaves of the lateral branches more or less erect; bark scaly on young trees; buds cylindrical, 3⁄4 to 1 in. long, very resinous. Leaves in twos, falling the third year; very rigid and sharply pointed, deep green, 2 to 3 in. long, somewhat spirally curved; leaf-sheath 1⁄4 in. long, persistent. Cones usually in clusters of three or more, each cone 3 or 31⁄2 in. long, 2 to 21⁄2 in. wide at the base; the boss of each scale terminated by a broad, hooked spine.
Native of eastern N. America in the Appalachians; introduced in 1804. This pine retains the cones on its branches frequently fifteen or twenty years. It is one of the least ornamental of pines in cultivation and its timber is of little value. In the group of two-leaved pines with persistent leaf-sheaths and cylindrical resinous buds, it is distinguished by the stiff, spine-tipped leaves and bright red brown branchlets.
This rare pine is represented at Leonardslee, Sussex, by two trees, the larger measuring 57 × 33⁄4 ft (1969).