The Breede River yellowwood does not grow as tall as the other three well-known South African species of the Podocarpus genus. The growth is spreading and multi-stemmed, often more of a rounded shrub than a tree. It has spirally arranged or sometimes sub-opposite grey-green to bluish leaves; the tree is evergreen like the other yellowwoods. The leaves are narrow, elliptic and smooth edged with sharp tips, clustered towards the end of branchlets. There are scattered stomata or pores and a grey-blue bloom on both leaf surfaces. The stomata are absent in Podocarpus latifolius, helping in the identification process of these somewhat similar species. The bark is smooth, brown or grey and sometimes peeling in narrow strips.
Like the rest of the Podocarpus genus, this conifer carries its seeds in round red shells with fleshy skins. The fruits grow of course only on the female trees and attract birds. The trees grow naturally in the Western Cape from Clanwilliam to Swellendam, often in deep sandy soil next to rivers (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).