A medium-sized tree in the wild, usually under 50 ft but said to attain 75 ft. Leaves 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. long, 1⁄8 to 3⁄16 in. wide, more or less radially arranged round the shoot, stiff, straight or sickle-shaped, mucronate, rich green above, lower surface with two broad pruinose bands. Male flowers in simple or compound spikes. Seeds about 3⁄8 in. wide, borne on a fleshy receptacle.
Native mainly of Chile; in the northern part of its range it occurs in the association dominated by Fitzroya cupressoides and in the moister form of Nothofagus dombeyi forest. In these latitudes it also occurs in Argentina (c. 41°-42° S.). In Chile it also occurs on the Pacific coast in Chiloe and in the archipelago at least as far south as the Messier Channel. This is a region of very high rainfall (up to 200 in. a year), which may help to explain the failure of P. nubigenus outside the moistest parts of the country, for it is not really tender. The four largest specimens in the British Isles are: Scorrier House, Cornwall, pl. 1878, 49 × 91⁄4 ft (1965); Pencarrow, Cornwall, pl. 1908, 36 × 31⁄2 ft (1970); Kilmacurragh, Eire, 38 × 71⁄2 ft and 47 × 41⁄4 ft (1966).