Perennial dioecious, woody rhizomatous climbers. Roots fibrous; rhizome woody. Stems erect, scrambling or twining, ± woody (lacking secondary growth) and perennial. Leaves simple, alternate, petiolate, sometimes with paired stipular tendrils, venation parallel and/or reticulate. Inflorescence axillary, or leaf-opposed, spicate, racemose or a cymose panicle, bracteate. Flowers small, regular, bracteate, unisexual; perianth membranous, sepals and petals each 3, free, similar; stamens hypogynous, filaments free or connate, 6 (rarely 3–18), anthers 1-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits or apical pores; ovary superior, 3-locular, ovules 1 per locule; style single with a capitate or 3-lobed stigma, or the stigmas ± sessile. Fruit a berry; seeds ± globular-angular.
2 genera with c. 320 species, mostly tropical and subtropical; 1 genus with 7 species in Australia, 1 species in Victoria.