Shrubs climbing, deciduous, dioecious. Stipules absent. Leaves alternate. Inflorescences from persistent scaly bracts. Flowers unisexual, in axillary racemes. Male flowers: sepals 6, petaloid, in 2 series. Petals 6, nectariferous, very small. Stamens 6, opposite petals, free; anthers 2-celled, extrorsely dehiscent by longitudinal slits, connective slightly protruded, exceeding apex of locule forming apiculate appendage. Pistillodes usually 4 or 5, sometimes fewer or more. Female flowers: sepals and petals as in male flowers. Staminodes 6. Carpels numerous, free, spirally arranged on enlarged receptacle; ovule 1 per carpel, anatropous, pendulous. Style linear; stigma small, capitate. Fruit apocarpous; receptacle fleshy; mature carpels berrylike, stipitate, 1-seeded. Seeds with fleshy albumen; embryo minute, straight.