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A very unusual and striking evergreen conifer species that is native to Afghanistan, China, Tibet, northern India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
As it matures, this tree becomes a rounded, widely spreading specimen with dark grey, rough, scaly bark. Dark green, glossy needles with white-banded undersides arrange themselves along the upper side of reddish, new shoots and form several v-shaped ranks. Large, sculptural, cylindrical, cones 8 inches long by 3 inches wide are held upright on the stems. They are a stunning dark purple when young, then turn brown with age.
Shade tolerant when young. Will tolerate heavy clay soil. Prefers slightly acidic soils
Mature size: In the high elevations (9,000+ ft) of E. Himalaya it can reach 200 ft tall; however it will likely stay considerably smaller in lower, N. American elevations. It can grow up to 12 inches per year, reaching 12+ feet after 10 years.
Minimum temperature: -20° F