Dacrydium spathoides was first described by David de Laubenfels in 1969. It is an evergreen coniferous tree belonging to the Podocarpaceae family which grows 83 to 110 feet (26 - 34 m) tall with a 20 inch (50 cm) diameter. The bark exudes red sap. Juvenile leaves spread out at about a 60º angle, nearly straight but slightly bent forward at the pungent tip, to at least 0.25 inch (6 mm) long, linear-lanceolate, keeled on the dorsal side, slightly concave on the axial side. Adult leaves spread out at about a 45º angle, straight or slightly bent forward at the spiny tip, 0.08 to 0.16 inch (2 - 4 mm) long, linear-lanceolate, keeled on the dorsal side, distinctly concave on the axial side. Pollen cones unknown. Seed-bearing structures occur on the terminals, often on a short side branch, subtended by reduced leaves less than 0.08 inch (2 mm) long, the cone bracts are straight, slightly spreading, up to 0.12 inch (3 mm) long and 0.02 inch (0.5 mm) wide, covering the lower part of the seed. Mature seed is 0.16 inch (4 mm) long, often there are two seeds per cone.
Distribution. The species is native to New Guinea —eastern West Irian, growing as a canopy tree at 6,880 to 7040 feet (2,150 - 2,200 m) elevation, in moist, mossy mountain rainforests.