Herbs [subshrubs], annual [perennial], monoecious [rarely dioecious]; hairs unbranched, sometimes glandular; latex absent. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules present, persistent; petiole present, glands absent; blade unlobed, margins serrate, laminar glands absent; venation pinnate or weakly palmate at base, pinnate distally, secondary veins straight, closely spaced, and parallel [arched, moderately spaced]. Inflorescences bisexual (pistillate flowers proximal, staminate distal) [unisexual], axillary, spikes or racemes; glands subtending each bract 0. Pedicels present or absent. Staminate flowers: sepals 5, valvate, connate basally; petals 5, distinct, adnate to base of staminal column, white; nectary absent; stamens 10, in 2 whorls, connate basally; pistillode present, at top of staminal column. Pistillate flowers: sepals persistent, often enlarging in fruit, 5–8(–10), connate basally, unequal, small outer lobes often present alternating with larger lobes; petals 5(–6) [often rudimentary], distinct, white; nectary absent; pistil 3-carpellate; styles 3, connate basally [distinct], deeply multifid, branches [9–]12–21 per flower. Fruits capsules, densely muricate. Seeds subglobose; caruncle absent. x = 11.
Introduced; Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, introduced also in Pacific Islands (Guam).
Species 34 (2 in the flora).