Dioecious trees or shrubs. Leaves flat, narrow, scale-like or oblong, spirally arranged, usually alternate (rarely opposite). Male cones usually terminal, solitary or 1–3 in leaf axils, cylindric or ovoid with spirally arranged sporophylls. Female cones reduced, with 1 or a few scales, usually 1 of which has in axil a megasporophyll folded over and united to an inverted ovule, sterile scales adnate to upper part of stipe and developing into swollen, fleshy, brightly coloured, edible receptacle supporting the seed. Seed 1 or 2, variable in shape, often becoming fleshy, testa thin or fleshy, inner parts woody.
7 genera, most from the Southern Hemisphere; 4 genera in Australia, only Podocarpus in Victoria. Family and genus description taken from Bennett (1987).