The limber pine can live several hundred years, but never grows more than 40 feet (12 metres) high. It is found mostly at high altitudes, in the mountainous regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
Its needles occur in bundles of five and its trunk is usually crooked. The young branches are flexible and thus resistant to breakage, hence the name "limber pine".
The limber pine often provides the only tree cover for wildlife on exposed sites. It occurs as single trees or in small groves on rocky sites where other species are unable to grow.
While it generally occurs in mountainous regions, it is also found along the edge of prairies.
It is very useful for the reforestation of snow avalanche paths.
Needles, in bundles, evergreen.
Fruits, cones, 3.8 to 8 inches long (8 to 20 cm long).