C. indivisa is very distinctive. The species can be distinguished from all other Cordyline species by its very broad blue-grey leaves, and its smaller, tightly compacted inflorescence which is produced from beneath the foliage. It forms a stout tree up to 8 m tall, with a trunk from 40 to 80 cm in diameter. The stem is usually unbranched, or has very few branches. The leaves are 1 to 2 metres long, and from 10 to 30 cm wide. The foliage, which droops with age, is blue-green and shaped like a broad sword, with a broad and conspicuous midrib which is often tinged red, orange red or golden. The inflorescence is a panicle that arises from the base of the growing points underneath the leaves.
It is a very attractive tree, but it has a tendency to collapse suddenly during high temperatures or in times of water shortage. It prefers cool moist soils, and semi-shade, and is easy to grow in the cooler parts of New Zealand. North of Hamilton, it can only be grown with great difficulty but few plants survive long enough to flower in lowland areas.
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In the North Island Cordyline indivisa occurs from south of Kohukohunui in the Hunua Ranges and Te Moehau (Coromandel Peninsula) but becomes common only south of Raukumara Ranges and the central Volcanic Plateau. In the South Island it is widespread and common along the north and western portions of the island, but occurs more locally in the drier eastern regions.