Evergreen trees, monoecious (always ?).
Leaves apparently decussate, appressed, imbricated and very small on the ultimate branches of mature plants but spirally arranged and cultrate on juveniles and sometimes on parts of adults.
Female cones variously arranged, of two pairs of opposite scales; ovules 3 or more at the base of each scale. Mature cones ovoid or globose, opening into 4 thick woody valves.
Male cones terminal with few or several decussate scales; pollen-sacs 2–4.