Annual or perennial green root-hemiparasites. Leaves alternate, narrowly linear, sometimes scale-like. Flowers hermaphrodite, in small cymes or solitary, with 1 bract and 2 bracteoles. Perianth 4-5-merous, funnel-shaped or campanulate. Stamens 4-5; filaments inserted at base of tepals. Ovary inferior, containing 2-4 ovules; stigma more or less capitate. Fruit a dry nutlet, globular or ellipsoidal, reticulate, with persistent perianth at summit. Seed 1; embryo at centre or apex of endosperm.