Tree to 20m tall. Leaves reduced to scales sheathing the joints between the stem sections. Male and female flowers on different plants. Flowers tiny (less than 3mm across), cream to yellow or red to brown, with 0 petals. Male flower groups catkin-like, at the ends of the branchlets, female flowers clustered in heads at the ends of short side branchlets.
Description and photograph of tree (as Casuarina cristata ssp. cristata) (page 207) and line drawing of cone (Fig. 41a, page 208) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales