The Red Ponytail Palm is a very unique looking tree. It features a very large, wrinkled, swollen base, and very thin, long, 3cm wide by 60cm long, dark green grass-like leaves emerging from the top of the trunk. The swollen trunk stores water, which means that it doesn't need to be watered often. The leaves emerge bright red and turn to green as they mature. The edges of the leaves are slightly rough.
The small creamy white flowers are produced only on older trees, in mid-summer. Although they are small, they come in large quantities and form a showy display.