Ss a slow-growing, usually large, evergreen tree, which grows to between 20 and 30 m in height. Under some conditions, the tree does not grow more than about 2 m but looks very old and full of character. The bark peels off in strips and the glossy green leaves are long and narrow. The leaves on young trees are always larger than on mature trees. There are male and female trees. The male cones resemble catkins while the female tree develops round, grey/blue seeds on thickened, fleshy, stalks known as receptacles, which as they mature, turn purple. It will grow better with good soil, water and shelter from strong winds. It does not usually grow as tall in cultivation as it would in its forest habitat, especially if not given a good water supply.