Trees evergreen, monoecious; branchlets arranged in a plane, flattened. Leaves decussate, scalelike, usually dimorphic along branchlets: facial pairs closely appressed, ovate or rhombic-ovate; lateral pairs boat-shaped, overlapping margins of facial pairs. Pollen cones ovoid or oblong; microsporophylls 6-8, each with 2-4 pollen sacs. Seed cones terminal on branchlets, solitary, globose or oblong, dehiscent when mature in 1st year; cone scales 8-12, peltate, woody, each fertile scale bearing (1 or)2(-5) seeds; free bract apex a small mucro. Seeds with lateral, narrow wings. Cotyledons 2.
Trees (rarely shrubs). Branchlets terete or rhombic in cross section, in fan-shaped or pinnately flattened sprays. Leaves opposite in 4 ranks. Adult leaves usually appressed, lateral and facial pairs similar, closely overlapping, scalelike, free portion of long-shoot leaves to ca. 7 mm; abaxial glands present or absent, circular to linear. Pollen cones with 2--3 pairs of sporophylls, each sporophyll with 2--4 pollen sacs. Seed cones maturing and opening in 1--2 years, nearly globose, glaucous, 4--12 mm; scales persistent, 2--5(--6) pairs, valvate, peltate or basifixed, thick and woody, terminal pair often fused. Seeds 1--4 per cone scale, lenticular, equally 2-winged; cotyledons 2--3. x = 11.
"Female cones subglobose, woody, dehiscent, with 3–6 pairs of ovuliferous scales each bearing 2–5 ovules, the scales becoming peltate and polygonal, pointed or elevated in the middle; seeds winged; microsporophylls few; monoecious trees with small, appressed, scale-like, decussately opposite lvs, the lateral ones folded and upper and lower flat or rounded, often with a resin-gland; branchlets numerous from the axils of the lateral lvs, forming ± flattened sprays; 2n=22. 6, N. Temp."
|White-cedar, false-cypress, faux-cypres [Greek chamai, on the ground, or dwarf, and cyparissos, cypress]|