Trees to 24m; trunk to 1.5m diam. Twigs mostly red-brown, rarely glaucous. Leaves mainly 2--3 per fascicle, (7--)10--17cm ´ (1.2--)1.4--2mm. Pollen cones yellow. Seed cones mostly symmetric, 5--10cm; apophyses of fertile scales moderately raised; umbo low pyramidal, narrowing acuminately to a stout-based prickle or short sharp spur. Seed body 3--4mm; wing to 15mm.
Tablelands, canyon slopes and rims, and foothills, western Great Plains, Rocky Mountains; 1000--3000m; B.C.; Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Dak., Okla., Oreg., S.Dak., Tex., Utah, Wash., Wyo.; Mexico.
The most important timber pine of the Rocky Mountains is Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum . It intergrades with P . ponderosa var. ponderosa in Idaho, Montana, and Washington, and with P . ponderosa var. arizonica in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico.