A densely foliaged tree to 20-30 m tall. Bark smooth, grey-black, peeling and becoming flakey in older trees. Branchlet ridged, sometimes almost square in section. Leaves 3-5 cm long, 3-5 mm wide, hard, leathery, dark green, scattered on the branchlets and sometimes appearing opposite, sometimes with a slight waxy bloom, tip pointed, tapering to the base, stalks short and twisted. Plants unisexual. Male cones about 1-1.5 cm long, arising from the leaf axils, mostly in 3's, Oct. Female cones to 1.5 cm long, green with waxy bloom at first, no fleshy receptacle but the seed covering eventually fleshy and yellow, taking a year to ripen, clearly visible Mar.-Apr.
Grown mostly in old public gardens; now no longer offered commercially. A tree of the moist forests of the southern Cape.
South Africa (Cape)
The wood is a valuable timber used in boat-building: the straight trunks were once widely used for ship masts.
Dense, dark canopy; leaves dark green on twisted stalks, both surfaces the same colour and appearance.
Fl. Pl. Afr. 51(2):pl. 2021 (1991).
SA: Penola (Memorial Park). NSW: Sydney (Centennial Park; Royal Bot. Gds, 2 massive trees each side of the Palace Garden). VIC: Ballarat (Bot. Gds); Bendigo (Rosalind Park); Creswick (Forestry School); Footscray (Public Park); Kew (near Molesworth &Barry Streets); Malvern (High St Gds, largest in the state); Prahran (Victoria Gardens); Mt Macedon ('Drusilla'); Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, Hopetoun Lawn - female, &Princes Lawns, also behind th Bell Shed and at rear entrance to Herbarium - male); St Kilda (Blessington Street Gardens). TAS: Hobart (Queens Domain; Royal Tasmanian Bot. Gds).
Source: (1995). Podocarpaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.