Prostrate or climbing monoecious or dioecious herbs, sometimes subfleshy with perennial roots. Leaves entire, lobed, dentate and partite; tendril mostly simple. Male flowers racemose or corymbose; calyx campanulate; lobes 5, short; corolla rotate, 5-partite; stamens 3, rarely 5, one 1-locular and two 2-locular (or when 5, all 1-locular), free or coherent, loculi curved, connective mostly 2-fid or 2-partite and produced beyond the loculi into 2 appendages or claws; rudimentary ovary absent or gland-like. Female flowers solitary or clustered; calyx and corolla as in the male; rudimentary stamens absent or 3 and small; ovary ovoid, beaked, with 2-3 placentas; style surrounded at the base by an obscure disc; stigmas 2 or 3, large or narrow; ovules few, horizontal, rarely numerous. Fruit sessile or subsessile berry, ovoid, beaked, few to several-seeded, margined or not, testa mostly crustaceous, smooth.