Annual or perennial herbs or shrublets, monoecious, often covered with hispid hairs
Leaves alternate, petiolate, variously serrate; cystoliths dot-like, prominent; stipules lateral, free
Female flowers few at centre of inflorescence, without perianth; ovary erect; stigma sessile and filiform
Achene ovate, covered by woolly indumentum.
Inflorescences bisexual, rarely unisexual (♀), sessile in leaf-axils, enclosed in a campanulate involucre of bracts; bracts almost completely covered by long dense woolly indumentum (but hairs at base of bracts long and stiff), lanceolate, ovate or obovate, free or fused at base