Terminalia ferdinandiana is a slender, small to medium-sized tree growing up to 14 m (46 ft) in height, with creamy-grey, flaky bark and deciduous pale green leaves. The flowers are small, creamy-white, perfumed, and borne along spikes in the leaf axils towards the ends of the branches. Flowering is from September to December. (Southern hemisphere spring/summer.) The leaf blades are strongly discolorous with a broadly elliptic to broadly ovate, occasionally obovate shape and are 11 to 33 centimetres (4.3 to 13.0 in) in length with a width of 8.5 to 23 centimetres (3.3 to 9.1 in) and have a rounded apex. The inflorescences are 16 to 19 centimetres (6.3 to 7.5 in) long and are glabrous throughout.
The fruit is yellow-green, about 2 cm (0.79 in) long and 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter, almond-sized with a short beak at the tip, and contain one large seed. They ripen from March onwards.