Sp.Pl. 2: 1035 (1753) APNI
Rhizomatous herbs, annual or perennial, mostly dioecious. Leaves opposite, petiolate, 2–several small glands near lamina-petiole junction; stipules small, paired, membranous. Male inflorescences axillary, spike-like axillary, with subsessile flowers in clusters. Male flowers with 3 valvate, membranous sepals, united at base, petals absent; stamens 8–20, filaments free; anthers 2-locular. Female inflorescences axillary, sessile or shortly pedicellate, solitary or in few-flowered clusters, sometimes intermixed with male flowers; sepals 3, imbricate, membranous, united at base; ovary 2-locular; styles 2, short, free or basally connate. Fruit a 2-lobed capsule. Seeds 2, ovoid or globose, carunculate.
About eight species: Europe and Mediterranean Africa, temperate and subtropical regions in E Asia; one species weakly naturalized in Australia.