This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Deciduous or at least not truly evergreen trees or shrubs. Leaves scattered, small, variable, either imbricated or spreading. Flowers monoecious. Scales of the conoid fruit leathery, with two seeds at the base of each. The generic name is from carved or engraved, and a cone, in reference to the embossed scales. There are two species described, both natives of China, and one extending to Japan.
1. G. pendulus, syn. Taxodium distichum var. pendulum, and T. Sinense. - A small tree with pendulous branches, excessively slender deciduous branchlets, and appressed or spreading very small linear-acute bright green leaves. Cones small, oblong or ovate, with pointed scales. A beautiful hardy tree from North China and Japan.
2. G. heterophyllus, syn. Taxodium nuciferum, etc. Chinese Water Pine. - A small tree with variable closely imbricated scale-like or linear and spreading glaucous green leaves. Cones oblong, scales unequal, with a recurved point. A native of China, rather tender in this country.