Shrubs erect, 0.25–1.5 m. Bark gray, slightly cracked and irregularly fissured. Branches alternate or whorled, rigid, angle of divergence about 60°. Twigs gray-green, becoming gray with age, glaucous, slightly scabrous, with numerous very fine longitudinal grooves; internodes 2–6 cm. Terminal buds conic, 1–4 mm, apex acute. Leaves in whorls of 3, 2–6 mm, connate to 2/3–3/4 their length; bases splitting at margins, persistent, forming black, thickened collar; apex acute. Pollen cones 1–3 at node, narrowly ellipsoid, 5–8 mm, on very short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts in 6–9 whorls of 3, light yellow, ovate, 3–4 × 2–3 mm, membranous, base short-clawed; bracteoles equaling bracts; sporangiophores 3–5 mm, exserted to 1/3 their length, with 3–7 sessile to short-stalked microsporangia. Seed cones 1–3 at node, lance-obovoid, 8–15 mm, on short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts in 6–9 whorls of 3, obovate, 4–8 × 3–5 mm, papery, yellow-translucent with green-yellow center and base, base broadly clawed, margins slightly dentate. Seeds 1(–3), ellipsoid, 6–10 × 2–4 mm, pale green to light brown, smooth to scabrous.
Phenology: Coning March–April.
Habitat: Sandy, dry soil and rocky scrub areas
Elevation: 500–1500 m
Of conservation concern.