Monoecious or dioecious trees or shrubs, with opposite or whorled scalelike or sometimes linear leaves that are decurrent and thickly clothing the branchlets or sometimes are jointed at the base. Staminate cones small, terminal on the branchlets or axillary; stamens with mostly 3-6 pollen-sacs attached to the lower half of the thin shield-like expanded portion. Ovuliferous scales paired, or whorled with 1-many erect ovules near the base. Cones woody or fleshy, the scales shield-shaped or imbricate; seeds often angled or winged; cotyledons 2-several. (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 35).