Small, erect monoecious shrub 1–1.5m tall, usually multistemmed. Bark thin, with large lenticels, Branches many, spreading and ascending, contorted, upper covered with reddish scale leaves.
Leaves scale-like, spirally arranged, overlapping, 2–3 x 1–2mm, broadly lanceolate, apex appressed or free, obtuse or acute. Stomata on both sides of the leaves.
Male pollen-cones occur on same branches as female seed-cones, terminal, solitary, 3–3.5 x 1.5–2mm. Female seed-cones mainly terminal consisting of 3–6 spreading red bracts, fertile scales with a single termianl inverted ovule. Seeds surrounded by a globose, hard glaucous white epimatium, 3–4mm across.
The parasitic on the endemic species Falcatifolium taxoides. This is the only known parasitic conifer species