Like other cycads, the queen sago resembles a palm tree with its feather like leaves arranged in a rosette that crowns a single trunk. It is a larger and more graceful version of its more commonly encountered cousin, the Japanese or king sago (Cycas revoluta).
The queen sago's solitary trunk can grow to 20 ft (6.1 m) in height, more than twice that of the Japanese sago. The dark green pinnate leaves grow to 8 ft (2.4 m) in length with narrow 12 in (30.5 cm) leaflets that curve gracefully downward. New leaves are light green and contrast dramatically with the older foliage.