Trees or shrubs evergreen, usually neither resinous nor aromatic (sharp- or foul-odored in Torreya ), dioecious or monoecious. Bark scaly or fissured. Lateral branches well developed, similar to leading shoots; twigs terete, not densely clothed by leaves but ± ridged by decurrent leaf bases; longest internodes less than 1 cm; buds ± inconspicuous. Roots fibrous to woody. Leaves (needles) simple, persisting several years, shed singly, alternate [opposite], spirally arranged but often twisted so as to appear 2-ranked, linear to linear-lanceolate, decurrent; resin canals present or absent. Pollen cones maturing and shed annually, solitary or clustered, axillary on year-old branches, globose to ovoid, sporophylls bearing 2--16 microsporangia (pollen sacs); pollen ± spheric, not winged. Seed cones reduced to 1--2 ovules subtended by inconspicuous, decussate bracts, maturing in 1--2 seasons, axillary on year-old branches. Seeds 1 per 'cone,' erect, not winged, hard seed coat partially or wholly surrounded by a juicy, fleshy or leathery aril; cotyledons 2.