Shrub to 2.m tall; stem thickened at base, branches wide-spreading and ascending. Bark with horizontal stripes and large lenticles, scaly plates appearing when mature, deep brown; inner bark fibrous, red brown.
Leaves of juvenile state only, densely covering branches, narrow and long-pointed, curved forward, triangular in cross-section,13–15 x 1mm, stomata borne in intermittent lines on all sides.
Male pollen-cones terminal, 8-15 x 4mm, with lateral cones at base. Female seed-cones terminal, 8–10mm long, hidden by leaves. Seeds 1–5 per cone, partially covered by epimatium and subtended by leaf-like bracts and much exceeding the seed; seeds ovoid-oblong, 4–5 x 2.5mm, brown.
A natural hybrid with Dacrydium araucarioides has been described as Dacrydium x suprinii Nimsch (Knopf et al, 2007). Less than 10 plants of this hybrid have been found.