Monoecious or dioecious trees or shrubs comprising about 18 genera and 140 species. The leaves linear and spirally disposed or often scalelike, opposite and decussate, or whorled. The male or microsporangiate strobili are small and inconspicuous, axillary or terminal, usually comprising only a few microsporophylls, each with 2-10 microsporangia. The pollen grains lack wings. The female or megasporangiate strobili are small, usually with 1-12 ovuliferous scales, each fused with its bract and bearing 1-20 ovules. The scales may be flat and imbricate, peltate, or connate. The female cone is woody or sometimes fleshy and berrylike.

Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Port Orford cedar, Avery Park, Corvallis, OR, 2002.

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Alaska-cedar.
Cupressus macrocarpa, Monterey cypress. A spreading crown like that seen here is found in many species of this family. This species has female cones with woody, peltate scales. Note the low number of scales per cone.
Cupressus sargentii. Note the scale-like, opposite, decussate leaves.
Cupressus sempervirens var. stricta., Italian cypress.
Cupressus sp. Note the low number of ovuliferous scales and several seeds per scale.

Juniperis sp., juniper.  Sierra Nevada, E. side.

Juniperis sp., juniper.
Thuja plicata, western red cedar.
Calocedrus decurrens, note male (microsporangiate) strobili.  Far Right: microsporophylls, abaxial (lower) surface with 3-4 (or more) microsporangia (inset at lower magnification showing stalk).
Unknown species. Note the whorled scalelike leaves and the low number of ovuliferous scales per female cone. At this stage the scales are rather fleshy and appear to be connate. At a later stage of development (right) the scales have dried and reflexed and the winged seeds have been shed.
Cryptomeria sp.
Sequoia sempervirens, coast redwood. The middle photo shows a fallen giant; the third photo shows a mature female cone. What appear to be young female cones developing at the tips of shoots may be seen below the mature strobilus.
Sequoiadendron gigantea, bigtree.

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