Dioecious or monoecious glabrous trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate or opposite, petiolate, stipulate, simple, entire or toothed, penninerved, eglandular. Inflorescences spiciform or racemiform, axillary or terminal, usually solitary, unisexual or bisexual; ♂ bracts 1-∞-flowered, usually biglandular at the base. Male flowers ± senile; sepals 2-4, free or united at the base, imbricate; petals 0; disc 0; stamens 2-3 (-8), free, anthers basifixed, extrorse, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode 0. Female flowers shortly pedicellate; sepals 2-3, free or connate at the base, imbricate; petals 0; disc 0; ovary 2-3-celled, with 1 ovule per cell; styles 2-3, free or slighly connate, entire, coiled. Fruit 2-34obed, septicidally dehiscent; exocarp sometimes slightly fleshy. Seeds leaving the caruncle adnate to the columella; testa crustaceous; albumen fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.