Resinous, long-lived, monoecious evergreen trees, of strongly monopodial habit. Trunk simple, erect, columnar. Branchlets composed of ± scattered short shoots borne laterally from long, principal shoots, with short shoots sometimes giving rise to long shoots, each with conspicuous annual growth increments and terminal resting buds. Leaves spirally arranged, flattened, simple, oblong-linear, present on seedlings but evanescent and becoming rapidly modified into small, deltoid, dry, scale-like spurs present thereafter throughout the vegetative axes of adult plants, distant, deciduous, transient, and without axillary appendages on long proximal portions of each annual increment of shoot, becoming crowded, woody, and basally persistent on the broadened, short distal, terminal portions of each annual increment of shoot, where each bears a single axillary phylloclade; the phylloclades functionally replacing the leaves of plants subsequent to the seedling stage, linear, persisting only a few years, arising distally either on long principal or short lateral shoots in discrete spreading, tightly-spiralled false whorls, each whorl separated from those of previous year’s by conspicuous bare lengths of shoot with persistent knoblike bases of true leaves. Male cones subglobose and subsessile, aggregated into densely compacted, crowded, terminal, raceme-like clusters of 5–10 or more at the tips of short or long shoots. Female (ovuliferous) cones solitary, usually near the ends of branches of previous year’s shoots, each with numerous, tightly and spirally arranged, broad, fibrous, wedge-shaped scales widening outwards, smaller than their subtending bract scales at first, but later outgrowing the bracts, bearing 7–9, transversely arranged, anatropous ovules. Seeds ovate-elliptic, large, with a very narrow wing. Cotyledons 2.
KeywordsCretaceous Tral Trop Lawson Emend
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