Shrubs, much branching, often spinescent. Leaves alternate, subsessile, solitary or fasciculate on the shorter twigs, mostly leathery or fleshy; ochreae membranous, 2-fid at apex. Pedicels filiform. Flowers hermaphrodite, grouped in small axillary clusters on short twigs. Perianth persistent, petaloid, 4-5-partite, 2-whorled, outer segments smaller, reflexed in fruit, inner segments larger, more or less erect, growing into scarious wing-like valves appressed to achene. Stamens 6-8, with filaments dilated at base, the 2-3 inner ones longer than outer. Ovary 2-3-carpelled, 1-ovuled, compressed or trigonous; styles 2-3, short, free or somewhat connate at base, bearing capitate stigmas. Achene lenticular or trigonous. Embryo curved; cotyledons linear.