Prickly Paperbark is a small to medium sized tree up to 20 m tall, with a dense, rounded canopy and drooping branchlets. The spongy bark is white or light brown and peels of in large strips. The stalkless leaves are 7-15 mm long and 2.5-6 mm wide, ovate to broad-ovate. These are slightly twisted, have sharply-pointed tips, and are arranged alternately on the branchlets. Flowers appear in summer in cream or white cylindrical bottlebrush-like spikes which are 2-5 cm long and 1-2 cm in diameter. Often new growth appears at the end of the spikes. Following flowering, grey-brown, woody capsules appear in clusters along the branchlets. These are ovoid, stalkless and 3-4 mm in diameter. Prickly Paperbark is native to eastern Australia.