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Evergreen trees or shrubs. Leaves opposite or whorled, persistent, scaly or needle-shaped, sometimes dimorphic. Male strobili small, terminal on short twigs or axillary, or clusters of 2-24 stamens borne on the lower side of the margin of a broad and somewhat peltate microsporphyll, anthers 2-6 celled, globose, pollen grains not winged. Female strobili of one or two-rowed, opposite or whorled scales, terminal or lateral on short branches, ovules few to many, sessile at the base of the scale, orthotropous. Fruit a cone, dry and woody with persistent, opposite or whorled scales, or the fruit fleshy and berry-like.