Plants about 2.5-15 cm long and up to 3 cm in diameter. Leaves (also called bracts or scales) in 3-4(-7) decussate whorls, increasing in length from the base of the plant upwards, broadly to narrowly ovate, at apex blunt-rounded, (4-)10-20(-28) by (5-) 10-15(-25) mm, cream (turning ebony) coloured with brown spots, the lowest often purplish brown. Flowers up to 20 mm long, with a foetid smell. Staminal tube tubular, wide and globose in the basal part, 14-20 mm long, the minute anthers in a 2-5 mm broad ring in the upper part, the whole collar early caducous. Ovary ellipsoid, c. 8 by 3 mm, style ovoid-ellipsoid, 2-8 by 3-6 mm, stigma 2-5 by 4-6 mm; 8-15 radial placentas. Fruit up to c. 20 by 10 mm, opening along a horizontal ring about halfway. Seeds c. 0.25 mm diameter, with a small funicle, yellowish or dark brown.
Aceh present, Asia-Temperate: China South-Central (Yunnan present); Taiwan (Taiwan present), Asia-Tropical: Cambodia (Cambodia present); India present; Thailand (Thailand present); Vietnam (Vietnam present), E Highlands present, East Coast present, Japan present, Milne Bay Provinces present, Morobe present, Sabah: Mt Kinabalu; Sarawak: 4th Division present, W present
India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China (Yunnan), Japan, Taiwan; Malesia: Sumatra (Aceh, East Coast), Borneo (Sabah: Mt Kinabalu; Sarawak: 4th Division), Papua New Guinea (W and E Highlands, Morobe, Milne Bay Provinces).
In Malesia Mitrastema yamamotoi is in general reported as a root parasite of Fagaceae: Castanopsis, Lithocarpus, Quercus, Trigonobalanus , but also on species of other families. Flowering is reported on Mt Kinabalu around April, the fruits ripening in about 4 months .