Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen tree, to 100 ft (30 m) tall in its native New Zealand, probably 30 ft a landscape, dense, spreading branches, initially a bushy tree, more open with age, may attain a massive trunk. Leaves needle-like, spirally arranged, linear-lanceolate, resembling a yew, 15-30 mm long and 3-4 mm wide, on old plants 20 × 1-2 mm, gray-green to brownish, stiff, leathery, prickly, distinct mid-rib below. Pollen cones 1-1.5 cm long, solitary or up to 4 together on a short peduncle. Female branchlets axillary, flowers solitary or paired, peduncle 2-3 mm long; receptacle of 2-4 scales, acute and free at tips, usually red, swollen and succulent, occasionally dry.
- Sun or light shade.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (8) 9 Native to New Zealand, found on both the North and South Islands, in lowland, montane and lower subalpine forests. One of the largest trees in New Zealand forests.
- Yellow leafed selection: 'Aurea'
- totara: the Maori name of the plant
- Santa Cruz, California: U.C. Santa Cruz Arboretum