Greek skiados - umbrella, pitys - pine; referring to the appearance of the leaves.
Resinous, long-lived, evergreen trees with a single straight trunk. Branchlets of short and long shoots with regular growth pattern and terminal resting buds. Leaves of two kinds, the larger c. 10 cm long, thick, linear, longitudinally grooved, glossy and persisting for a few years only (technically these are phylloclades, being modified stems having the appearance of leaves), and arranged into false whorls with 15-25 together in the axils of rings of small scale leaves. Male and female cones on the same trees. Male cones c. 8 mm long, almost round and stalkless, in dense terminal clusters. Female cones solitary on short stalks near the end of previous year's growth. Mature cones ovoid, to 10 cm long and ripening in the second year; scales thick, woody, wedge-shaped and furrowed with the tips curved downwards. Seeds 5-9 on each fertile scale, winged.
Formerly placed in the family Taxodiaceae but now considered to have numerous unique characters requiring recognition at the family level.
1 species from mountain districts of central and southern Japan.
Source: (1995). Sciadopityaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.