This is a large genus of about 95 species, mostly found in the southern hemisphere in warm-temperate to tropical areas of New Zealand, north through south-east Asia, Japan, Nepal and the cooler parts of South America. Podocarps appeared in the fossil record at the beginning of the Triassic period (250 million years ago).
The fleshy stems of the seeds were eaten by Aboriginal people in some parts of Australia.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.