Trees evergreen, dioecious or rarely monoecious; crown columnar. Leaves spirally arranged or in decussate, opposite pairs on leading shoots, opposite or subopposite on lateral shoots, ± monomorphic, adult leaves similar to juvenile leaves but often larger or wider (although juvenile leaves larger in Nageia wallichiana), more than 5 mm; petiole twisted through 90° ; blade broadly ovate-elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, without obvious midvein but with many, slender, parallel, longitudinal veins converging toward base and apex, stomatal lines abaxial or rarely on all surfaces. Pollen cones axillary, solitary or clustered in small, spikelike groups of 3-6, borne on naked peduncles, ovoid-cylindric, with basal sterile scales; pollen 2-saccate. Seed-bearing structures terminal on short, scaly, axillary branchlets, solitary or occasionally paired; bracts usually obsolete, scarcely thicker than peduncle, rarely succulent and thicker than peduncle; ovule inverted. Epimatium wholly enveloping seed, leathery, with bluish black bloom when ripe. Seed drupelike, globose.