Description from Flora of China
Trees evergreen; trunk monopodial, straight; branches nearly whorled; branchlets ridged and grooved, with each leaf borne on a persistent, peglike base (pulvinus); short branchlets absent; winter buds ovoid, conical, or subglobose, resinous or not, scales on terminal buds recurved or not, persistent at base of branchlets. Leaves spirally arranged, spreading radially, or directed forward on upper side of branchlets and spreading on lower side, each inserted on a petiolelike pulvinus, linear, straight or curved, quadrangular, broadly rhombic, or flattened in cross section, stomatal lines adaxial or on each surface, vascular bundle 1, resin canals 2, sometimes small and discontinuous. Pollen cones solitary in leaf axils, rarely terminal, ellipsoid or cylindric; pollen 2-saccate. Seed cones solitary, pendulous at maturity, ovoid-cylindric or cylindric, rarely ovoid, maturing in 1st year. Seed scales thinly woody, leathery, or papery, with margin entire, denticulate, or undulate toward apex, persistent. Bracts included, small. Seeds obovoid or ovoid; wing long, membranous. Cotyledons 4-9(-15). Germination epigeal. 2n = 24*.
About 35 species: Asia, Europe, North America; 18 species (seven endemic, two introduced) in China.