Herbs to tall shrubs; hairs nearly always colourless or white. Leaves opposite-decussate or sometimes alternate, usually paler on lower surface. Inflorescence terminal or rarely axillary, a head, rarely elongate, with or without involucral bracts; peduncle may be swollen at apex to form a concave or convex receptacle. Flowers unisexual or bisexual; floral tube usually fusiform below (ovary-portion) and cylindric above (style-portion), partly or fully persistent in fruit; sepals 4, overlapping, corolla lobes absent; stamens 2 or very rarely 1, inserted at or near top of floral tube, opposite sepals; nectary disc absent; ovary 1-locular; stigma capitate; papillose or brush-like.
108 species from Australia, Lord Howe Is., New Zealand and Chatham Is.; 93 species in Australia, all endemic.
Some species are toxic to stock.