It grows up to 25m high, with a trunk up to 1.3m diameter. The plants are dioecious with pollen cones being solitary while those of female plants hang from a curved, scaly stalk. The seed cones are red to purple-red with a soft edible pulp covering the single seed. The seeds are dispersed by the New Zealand pigeon, which eats the very conspicuous ‘berries’ and passes the seeds in its droppings. It is found growing on both lowland terrain and on hill slopes throughout the two main islands as well as on Stewart Island/Rakiura (47° S). The Tree can live for at least 600 years.