A tree to 30 m. high, outer bark of trunk grey brown to dark brown, exfoliating in rectangular to irregular flakes 0.5–3 cm. long, 1–2 cm. wide, slash pale brown or pink. Terminal buds of average branchlets 0.7–1.5 mm. diameter, outer bud scales narrow triangular, ± stiff, intermediate bud scales deltoid with a stiff point and margins entire or slightly denticulate. Leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, 10–15 mm. long and 1.5–2.5 mm. broad in senile adults, to 13 cm. long and 8 mm. broad in juveniles, stomata on both sides, fractured surface not showing transverse fibres. Male cones axillary, 4–10–26 mm. long, yellow, terminal lobe of median scales 0.7–1.2 mm. broad, obtusely triangular, scarcely denticulate. Female cones solitary on leafy or scaly branches 7–22 mm. long. Fruit green to yellowish green, subglobular, sometimes ellipsoid, 19–25–35 mm. long, 16–22–30 mm. diameter, woody shell 2–8 mm. thick.
A tall tree, up to over 250 ft. high; branchlets slender, scattered or subopposite or subverticillate, spreading, loosely disposed in young, more crowded in old specimens. Vegetative buds very small, obtuse. Leaves linear, long-tapering to a sharp point, shortly attenuated at the base into a very short petiole, straight or sub-falcate, about 3 in. by 2 1/2 lin., rarely broader (up to 3 1/2 lin.) and thinly coriaceous in young trees, much shorter and much more coriaceous in adult specimens; midrib very obscure above, slightly raised beneath. Male cones unknown. Female cones only known in the mature state. Seed solitary on slender peduncles, 7–10 lin. long and marked with the scars of the fallen scales, globose to subglobose, about 1 in. long; inner layer of seed-shell very hard, woody, up to 3 1/2 lin. thick, outer coriaceous, resinous inwards.
German East Africa Usambara; Mbalu, Heboma, in mountain meadows, Holst, 2548; Mlalo, 5250 ft., Engler, 1444; Para Mountains, Mtai, in forests, Holst, 2467! Kwai, in virgin forest from 5000 ft. upwards, Eich, 17; between Kwai and Gare, 5250–5900 ft., Engler, 2229; Mogamba forest, the prevailing tree, Holst, 3816; Mkussu forest, Busse, 363. Ruanda; Rugege forest, 6200 ft., Mildbraed, 1035; Bugoier forest, 8200 ft., Mildbraed, 1473. Karagwe; Bukoba, Mildbraed, 124.