Monoecious or dioecious, somewhat pubescent shrubs or small trees. Leaves 3-costate, alternate or opposite, serrate, rarely bibbed; stipules free lateral, deciduous. Inflorescence of spicate or paniculate, globose unisexual clusters of flowers. Flowers bracteate. Calyx of male flowers, (3-)4(-5)-lobed, lobes valvate; tubular-ventricose, with 2-4 teeth at narrow mouth in female flowers. Stamens (3-)4(-5). Ovary sessile or stipitate, free from calyx; style terminal, filiform, laterally pilose and stigmatic, persistent; pistillode clavate or subglobose in male flowers. Achene with brittle pericarp, enveloped by dry membranous female calyx. Seed endospermous.