This is an old cultivar, raised by Thomas Cripps & Sons Nursery in Kent, and named in 1867 according to Jacobson (1996). Several other works agree with this date, although Krüssmann, in what may be a rare error, suggests it originated in France before 1891 (Krüssmann 1985).
Whatever the origins this has remained a popular cultivar since its first introduction. It makes a relatively small tree, typically 3–5 m tall, sparsely branched but still appearing to be of bushy growth on account of the whorled branchlets. The needles are a dark glaucous-green, young growth in the spring more vividly glaucous at first. (Auders & Spicer 2012; Edwards & Marshall 2019).