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DescriptionTrees. Trunk tall or very short, bearing spirally arranged leaf-bases and scale leaves. Leaves closely spirally arranged, pinnate; leaflets with one thick midrib and no lateral veins, entire. Male scales arranged in apical cones, each scale with many pollen-sacs on the abaxial surface. Female scales frond-like, lanceolate or narrowly ovate, irregularly dentate, not forming a definite cone but spirally arranged in an apical whorl. Seeds ovoid.
May be distinguished from the Zamiaceae by the presence of a midrib in the leaflets and by the female inflorescence which is much-branched and not cone-like. The Stangeriaceae leaflets also have a midrib, but they differ in the presence of lateral veins.