These are evergreen bisexual trees with whorls of brown scales (which are the actual leaves) from which green needle-like cladodes (short stems) emerge. These cladodes resemble the needles of Pinaceae but are composed of stem tissue and have two vascular bundles Male cones grow in dense termina clusters. Female cones are subsessile, ovoid and disintegrate soon atfer the seeds are released. Cones scales are free, thin and flat with 5 -9 seeds per scale. Seeds are flat, ovoid with narrow wing along each side. They are orange-brown and have two cotyledons. The family is found only in southern Japan in mid-elevated cloud forests. The tree is listed as vulnerable because of harvesting for its water-resistant wood. The family comprises one genus, Sciadopitys and has only one species, Sciadopitys verticillata. Baltic amber is composed of the resin of extinct Sciadopityacreae. Amber is appreciated for its color and is often used for jewelry, for perfume and folk medicine. The species name is derived from the Greek word skiados, ‘a whorl’ and pitys, ‘a fir tree’.