Monoecious trees or shrubs with scaly bark. Leaves opposite, imbricated when adult, scale-like. Staminate and ovulate cones on separate branches. Staminate cones oblong, with decussately arranged pairs of imbricated scales each with 2-4 sessile pollen sacs. Ovulate cones ovoid to globular, maturing in the second year; scales 6-14, free, woody, peltate, mucronate on back, the upper ones sterile; mature cones first tightly closed, then diverging; scales persistent, angular to orbicular, umbonate. Seeds 4-20 on each scale, in several rows, bony, frequently narrowly winged.