Perennial, evergreen, dioecious palm-like
or fern-like plant. Stems subterranean with exposed apex or aboveground,
fleshy, stout, cylindric, simple or irregularly branched. Roots coral-like.
Leaves pinnately compound, spirally clustered at stem apex, leathery, petiole
and rachis unarmed; leaflets entire or dentate, venation dichotomous. Cones axillary,
appearing terminal, short-peduncled, disintegrating at maturity; sporophylls
densely crowded, spirally arranged, often covered with indument. Male cones
smaller and numerous than female cones; sporophylls bearing many crowded, small
microsporangia adaxially; pollen spheric. Female cones persistent, 1(-2) per
plant, globose to ovoid, tapering sharply or blunt at apex; sporophylls
peltate, thickened, bearing 2(-3) ovules. Seeds angular, inner coat hardened,
outer coat fleshy, often brightly colored; cotyledons 2.