The family has about 18 genera and 180 species.
Seven genera and 16 species are native in Australia especially northern Queensland.

Trees or shrubs with flattened oblong or scale-like leaves.
Leaves are spirally arranged but appear to be in 2 ranks because of the twist at the base.

Most have male and female cones on different trees.
Male cones, on axillary shoots, have spirally arranged microsporophylls each with 2 microsporangia.

Female cones are on the ends of branches or short axillary shoots.

Pinophyta with flattened adult leaves are:
    Araucariaceae (these have no midrib) and
    Podocarpaceae (midrib present but sometimes indistinct).