Clustered palm climbing to 25–30 m. Stems circular in cross section, without leaf sheaths, ca.15 mm in diameter, with, to 25 mm; internodes 10–15 cm long. Leaf sheath longitudinally striate, sparsely to moderately covered with dark brown caducous indumentum; ocrea obliquely truncate, dry, grey-brown, often splitting in conspicuous v-shape on abaxial side, extending to 2 cm; knee linear, 3–3.5 cm long, somewhat abrupt at base. Leaf up to 2.4 m long; rachis 1-1.2m long, abaxially rounded, adaxially flattened or convex, becoming trapezoid then triangular in cross-section distally, armed along the margins with inequidistant black-tipped, bulbous-based spines, sparse brown indumentum present on underside of rachis, absent distally; cirrus up to 1.2 m long, unarmed; leaflets, opposite or sub-opposite, up to 26 on each side of the rachis, linear-lanceolate, broadly contracted at the base, apex narrowly praemorse, 25-32 cm long by 1.5-2 cm broad at the widest point, concolorous, armed along the margins with inequidistant, black-tipped spines, with 5-7 moderately conspicuous transverse veinlets 1-2 mm apart; lowermost leaflets smaller than the rest, linear-ovate, erect or reflexed and laxly swept across stem; acanthophylls 2.4-2.8 cm long. Inflorescence, very lightly papillose up to 30 cm long; peduncle 8-10 cm long; rachis 17-20 cm long, arching, sometimes straight, rachis bracts, finely to broadly acuminate, united at base to form a conspicuous sheathing bract, 3-5 mm long, decreasing distally; rachillae distichous, ca. 10 on each side, 10-14 cm long, decreasing distally, adnate for 5-8 mm of the inflorescence axis, arching, rarely straight, with 1-3 mm circular bracts subtending each dyad. Flowers not known. Fruit at maturity, 1-seeded, 2.3-2.8 cm long by 1.5-1.7 cm broad, broadly cylindrical, with 16 vertical rows of scales. Seed compressed, 2 cm long by 1.2 cm wide by 0.7 cm thick, flattened on one side, embryo lateral, raised opposite flattened side.
This is a very poorly known species but is thought to occur in gaps in high forest. Eremospatha barendii is an unusual species characterised by the presence of conspicuous bracts on the inflorescence. The dry, splitting ocrea is also an unusual character in this genus, shared only by the very distinct E. wendlandiana.
Native to, Cameroon
Eremospatha barendii is known only from two locations near Lolodorf, Cameroon.