Holoparasitic leafless polygamous or dioecious herbs, with minute flowers, densely crowded on a terminal, club-shaped spadix. Perianth simple of (1-)3-4 (-5-8) free or more or less connate segments, sometimes (in pistillate flowers) perianth 0. Stamen 1. Ovary inferior or half-inferior, l-celled, containing 1 pendulous ovule; style 1. Fruit nut-like or somewhat drupe-like, indehiscent. Seeds solitary in fruit cavity; endosperm oily and succulent; embryo lateral, minute.