Stem usually dichotomously branched, leaves costapalmate, divided into numerous segments, segments divided for more than half their length. Petiole spiny, usually with black upwardly curved hooks. Hastula often oblique. Dioecious pleonanthic. Inflorescence intrafoliar and branched. Flowers small, male and female equal in size. Male flower: sepals 3; petals 3, united to form a stalk; stamens 6, filaments free, anthers ovate, bifid at base, fixed by their back. Female flower: sepals and petals 3, staminode rudimentary; stigmas 3, sessile. Ovary 3-celled, usually only one developing into fruit giving fruit with basal stigma remains; sometimes more than 1 ovule develops, .ill-defined pore in apical position opposite the embryo. Drupe oblong, sweet; albumen bony, homogeneous, hollow, embryo at tip vertical.