Male inflorescences white, 12-30 cm. long; individual spadices to 14 × 2.5 cm., 5-6 in number; lowermost bract whitish, the proximal ones as large as 67 × 5.5 cm., the distal ones as small as 11 × 1.7 cm., with minute marginal spines; stamens subumbellate, often with 2 tiers of umbels, the stalks 5-10.5 mm. long, each bearing 5-8 anthers; filaments 0.5-1 mm. long; anthers linear, rounded at the apex, 1.8-2 mm. long, spirally contorted after anthesis.
Fruit-peduncle to 75 cm. long and 2.5 cm. in diameter, not quite pendent, with 2-7 syncarps; syncarps red, ellipsoid, 7-20 cm. long, 5.5-12 cm. across, almost sessile; phalanges 30-84 per syncarp, (2-)4-6-locular; pileus 5-20 mm. high, (10-)15-35 mm. across; lower phalange 15-30 mm. high; stigmas 1.5-2 mm. wide, reniform.
Tree 3-20 m. tall; trunk up to 25 cm. in diameter, with buff-coloured bark, beset with sharp conic spines 2-7 mm. long; stilt-roots to 2 m. high in mature trees in swampy sites, but much less when growing on limestone, brown, with small conical spines in longitudinal rows; branches covered with marcescent leaf-bases.
Leaves breaking and pendent for the distal one-third, 120-400 cm. long, (1.3-)5-16 cm. wide, clasping at the base, attenuate at the apex, olive-green above, paler green below; marginal spines 2-5 mm. long, 5-13(-33) mm. apart; spines on midrib almost as many as the margin, 2-3 mm. long, usually pointing towards the base in the proximal half of the leaf, pointing towards the apex in the distal half of the leaf; sometimes those midrib-spines in a double row set 5 mm. apart on a raised midrib, occasionally the abaxial pleats with a few minute teeth distally.