Although trees and shrubs bearing this name are occasionally to be met with in gardens, it would seem that the true plant is now rare, and only to be found in the warmer parts of the country. It is a native of S. Europe, N. Africa, and the Canary Islands, and according to Aiton was introduced in 1683. The adult leaves are in pairs or in threes, scale-like, 1⁄25 in. long, very closely arranged and appressed to the branchlet; the juvenile leaves (few or absent in old trees) are needle-like and in whorls of threes. Fruits variable, but mostly globose, about 1⁄3 in. in diameter, dark reddish or yellowish brown, without bloom, containing three to nine seeds.
var. turbinata Parl. – Fruits egg-shaped, sometimes top-shaped, as compared with the usually spherical ones of the type.