Tree to 20m or so tall. Bark stringy, furrowed and peeling in strips. Leaves 3cm long, 3-4mm wide (young leaves often narrower), lanceolate, mostly wide-spreading around the stem, slightly curved, grey-green above, pale green below, stalkless, tip pointed and pungent. Female cone with bright red 2-4 scaled receptacle.
Grows naturally in lowland, montane and lower subalpine forest of the central North Island where it is regenerating on the hillsides.
A valuable timber tree which is long-lived (to 1000 yrs).
Superficially similar to Taxus but differing vegetatively in having leaves needle pointed and the bud scales long pointed not rounded.
NSW: Mt Wilson ('Yengo' ptd c. 1877); Sydney (Centennial Park; Royal Bot. Gds) VIC: Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, New Zealand Section); Malvern (Hedgeley Dene Gardens; High St Gds 16.7 m tall in 1988); Mt Macedon ('Alton'). TAS: Franklin Village ('Franklin House'); Hobart (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.