Shrubs. Young branches slightly ribbed. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate or sessile; stipules wanting. Inflorescences axillary or distal panicles with determinate growth, the flowers solitary or variously clustered along the rachis. Flowers unisexual or bisexual (plants dioecious or polygamous-dioecious). Calyx of (3)-5-(7) sepals; petals wanting; disc wanting or intrastaminal in pistillate flowers. Stamens usually twice as many as the sepals; filaments short; anthers sagittate or oblong; ovary of (2)3-5(6) carpels, each with 2 ovules. Capsules winged, thin walled. Seeds usually black, lenticular or subspherical, not arillate; embryo with both cotyledons spirally coiled.