Perennial herb or shrub; rhizomatous or caespitose, terrestrial, prostrate to c. 2 m tall plants. Leaves distributed along the stem or in terminal tufts, distichous. Inflorescence solitary terminal or many flowered variously branched panicle. Flowers pedicellate, actino or zygomorphic, perianth marcescent; tepals 6, polyphyllous or shortly united into a tube; inner whorl slightly longer than the outer or subequal. Stamens 6, free or slightly united at the base; if free, hypogynous or epiphyllous; if united, three hypogynous and 3 epiphyllous; anthers basifixed or dorsifixed, dehiscing by pores or slits. Ovary tricarpellary syncarpous, hypogynous or half inferior, tri or unilocular, placentation axile or parietal, stigma capitate or with tufts of short hairs; septal nectaries generally present; ovules 1-many on each placentum. Fruit a berry or capsule, seeds black.