Small shrubs. Leaves subcylindrical or reduced. Flowers bisexual or pistillate, in triads spirally arranged in the axils of bracts, connate with one another and adnate with the cavity of stem, seldom free; perianth 4-lobed, connate to apex, with an apical narrow wing-like border; spongy in fruit; stamens 2; stigmas 2. Fruit membranous; seeds vertical; embryo annular to horseshoe-shaped; radicle inferior; perisperm abundant. Five spp., Mediterranean Europe, W and C Asia.