Plants dioecious. Stem reduced. Leaves distichous, linear or terete, sheathing at base, apex entire or indented. Inflorescence spike-, raceme- or panicle-like, with flowers separated or in dense or open clusters; male and female inflorescences similar or dissimilar. Flowers small; perianth free or the lobes of a whorl fused, similar or outer whorl thinner than inner whorl; female flowers usually with a larger perianth than those of male flowers, which becomes hardened in fruit; outer stamens inserted on receptacle or rim of the perianth tube; ovary 3-locular, sessile or subsessile; ovules 1 per locule, style short. Fruit a capsule, globular, cylindric or trigonous; seeds spherical to ellipsoid, brown, orange or reddish.
50 species, all native in Australia, 2 also occurring in Papua New Guinea and 1 in New Caledonia; 14 species in Victoria.