Leaf: Needles single, linear, and spirally arranged (although they appear 2-ranked); 1 inch long; yellow-green to dark green above and paler below (but without bloom); apex pointed but not sharp; each needle has a distinct petiole that parallels the twig for a short distance.
Flower: Dioecious; male flowers are small, round, and yellow and are borne on the undersides of the leaves; female flowers are solitary.
Fruit: A round, fleshy, orange-red aril about 1/4 inch long containing one hard seed, exposed at the end.
Twig: Round, slender, and remaining green for many years; relatively few lateral branches.
Bark: Always thin (about 1/4 inch), reddish-brown, and scaly; inner bark is reddish-purple.
Form: Small evergreen understory tree with indistinct growth form. Can reach 50 feet tall and 2 feet in diameter, but usually much smaller. Trunks are usually fluted and asymmetrical. Very slow growing but can reach a very old age.