Syn: Podocarpus imbricatus var. kinabaluensis Wasscher 1941; P. imbricatus (not Blume) Gibbs 1912 (de Laubenfels 1988).
Shrub or small tree 2-13 m tall and 15-30 cm dbh. The primary, foliage and intermediate shoots bear distinctive foliage, which differs between juvenile and adult plants. The intermediate shoots bear foliage shoots and fertile shoots but are deciduous. Leaves on primary shoots nearly imbricate with the apex often curved slightly inward. On juvenile foliage shoots distichous (in two rows), nearly linear. On older trees foliage shoots similar but losing distichous habit, more robust, keeled on the lateral faces, 3-6 × 0.8-1 mm. On intermediate shoots 2-5 mm long, triangular or quadrangular in cross section. Seed cones: the involucral leaves are greatly elongated, resembling foliage leaves but more curved, 5-8 mm long, reaching only the lower part of the seed when it is mature. The ripe receptacle is blue or purple. Seed, with its covering, is 6-7 × 5-6 mm (de Laubenfels 1988).
Borneo: Sabah: endemic to Mt. Kinabalu, where it is common, growing in sometimes pure stands in dwarf mountain scrub at elevations from about 2700 m to the treeline at about 4000 m. This is far above D. imbricatus, which does not here grow above 2000 m elevation, the intermediate elevations being occupied by moss forest (de Laubenfels 1988). Within its range, mean annual temperature is 11.6°C, with an average minimum in the coldest month of 7.0°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 2092 mm (Biffin et al. 2011, Table S5).
The close similarity between this species and D. cumingii, and the fact that D. cumingii is absent from suitable habitat on Mt. Kinabalu, suggest that the relationship between the two species warrants closer study.
Last Modified 2017-12-29