Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen tree, 30-40 ft (9-12 m) tall, narrow, often an irregular crown but occasionally conical, branches thin and pendulous. Bark reddish- or grayish-brown, thin, scaly or shredded when young, later darker and larger scales. Leaves very densely arranged, 7-12(18) mm long, stiff, 4 sided, straight or slightly curved, aromatic when crushed, dull green to blue-green, 1-2 stomatal lines above, 3-4 below. Cones purplish then gray-brown, small, 2-3 cm long and 1.5 cm thick, ovoid, nearly spherical when open; mature cones remain on a tree up to 30 years.
- Sun or light shade. Slow growing, adaptable to a variety of sites.
Species not often used ornamentally, but several selections are used, including:
- ‘Aureovariegata’ - blue-green leaves with gold on horizontal surfaces.
- ‘Beissneri’ - a dwarf shurb, to 6ft (1.8 m) high and wide, leaves small thin, gray.
- ‘Fastigiata’ - very narrow columnar form, blue-gray foliage.
- ‘Nana’ - broad dwarf, 2 ft tall and 3 ft wide (60 × 90 cm), bluish-green needles, slow growing, best in partial shade.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Extensive native range in northern North America, from Alaska to Labrador and south to Minnesota, Michigan, and the mountains of Virginia. In the southern part of its range often found in wet poorly drained sites, northward it is on moist organic soils. Can perform well on sites with good drainage.
- The provincial tree of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Portland, Oregon: Hoyt Arboretum