This is a most graceful tree, and, when grown in soil and climate favorable to its thrift, attains a height varying from forty to ninety feet, with a diameter of from two to five feet. The bark of its trunk is rough and of a dark-brown color, and that of its wide and spreading branches ash gray. Its leaves vary in size, the largest being nearly a foot broad. It bears a very fragrant, greenish-yellow flower, which appears during the months of April and May. Its latitude of growth is between forty and fifty degrees north, and it is indigenous to the northwest coast of North America, where it is found in woody, mountainous regions along the sea-coast, and on the great rapids of the river Columbia. Its wood is of a whitish tint, of a grain scarcely inferior to the finest satin-wood, and is well adapted for cabinet-making.
This species produces sap in abundance, and might be made use of for sugar-making, as its saccharine property is equal to many of its congeners. It is a highly ornamental tree, and attention to its suitability for general cultivation cannot be too warmly recommended. It is propagated by layers and of rapid growth.