Herbs or subshrubs [and shrubs], perennial, with nonstinging hairs. Stems simple, erect. Leaves alternate, less often opposite; stipules present. blades elliptic, lanceolate, or ovate, margins entire; cystoliths rounded. Inflorescences axillary. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate flowers in sessile or subsessile clusters in same inflorescences; bracts oblanceolate, lacking hooked hairs. Staminate flowers: tepals 4, equal; stamens 4; pistillode present. Pistillate flowers: tepals 4, connate, appressed to and tightly enclosing ovary; staminodes absent; style deciduous, elongate. Achenes ovoid, acute, not mucronate, tightly enclosed by persistent tepals. x = 13.
Mostly in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
Species ca. 50 (1 in the flora).