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DescriptionStemless, dioecious plants with subterranean tuber-bearing roots.. Leaves pinnate, fern-like, 1-4 from each stem; leaflets with midrib and dichotomously branched lateral veins. Cones with tightly-packed spirally-arranged scales. Male scales with pollen cells stipitate on the lower surface towards the base. Female scales stalked, with 2 ovules. Seeds with a fleshy outer layer and a hard inner shell.
See the Cycadaceae for a comparison with this family and the Zamiaceae.