shrubs, dioecious (male and female separate) or monoecious (male and female
elements on same plant). Bark reddish brown, scaly. Branches ascending to
drooping; twigs irregularly alternate, green or yellow-green when young, reddish
brown in age. Leaves often appearing 2-ranked, flexible; stomates abaxial, in 2
broad, pale bands; apex soft-pointed, mucronate, not sharp to touch; resin canal
absent. Pollen cones globose, yellowish, with 4 - 16 peltate sporophylls, each
bearing 2 - 9 sporangia. Ovule 1. Seed maturing in 1 season, brown; aril scarlet
to orange-scarlet, soft, mucilaginous, thick, cup-shaped, open at apex, exposing
hard seed coat.
FLOWERING PERIOD: The male trees flower late Winter or early Spring, producing very small catkins with abundant pollen borne on the wind. Only one seed is formed from each female flower. The fruit grow on the female trees through the Summer and the single hard seed is partly embedded in a pulpy, conspicuous and bright red berry or aril which show up from early September.