Evergreen, root-parasitic shrubs or trees. Branches angular. Leaves mostly alternate. Inflorescences axillary. Bracts and bracteoles caducous. Flowers unisexual (plants dioecious or polygamous) or rarely hermaphrodite; staminate flowers crowded on peduncles; pistillate and hermaphrodite ones solitary or few. Perianth 3-4 (-5)-partite with ovate caducous segments; tube very short in staminate flowers, long-obconical in the pistillate ones. Receptacle disk-like, convex, 3-4-angled. Stamens 3-4, with short thick filaments inserted at base of tepals; anthers 2-celled. Ovary inferior, 1-celled, 3 (-4)-ovuled, fleshy, with a short style; stigma 3-4-lobed. Drupe 1-seeded, ovoid-globular, bearing remnants of perianth and disk on top. Seed filling the drupe, mostly with endosperm; embryo short, straight or somewhat arcuate.