It is an evergreen coniferous tree growing to 25 m tall, with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter. The foliage is arranged in flattened sprays; the leaves are scale-like, 1.52 mm long and 1 mm broad, arranged in opposite decussate pairs on the shoots. The seed cones are cylindrical, 812 mm long, with four scales each with a prominent curved spine-like bract; they are arranged in two opposite decussate pairs around a small central columella; the outer pair of scales is small and sterile, the inner pair large, bearing two winged seeds. They are mature about six to eight months after pollination. The pollen cones are 2.55 mm long.

The noun PAHAUTEA has 1 sense: 1. evergreen tree of New Zealand resembling the kawaka Familiarity information: PAHAUTEA used as a noun is very rare. More