Annual, or short-lived perennial herbs or weak shrubs, almost or quite glabrous. Leaves alternate, linear to narrow-elliptic, fleshy. Flowers unisexual or bisexual, in small clusters in axils of upper leaves, each flower subtended by 2 or 3 small scale-like bracteoles; perianth succulent, 5-lobed; stamens 5, sometimes attached to perianth tube; ovary free or partially united to perianth; stigmas 2 or 3. Fruiting perianth unaltered from flowering state or enlarged; pericarp membranous or slightly succulent; seed lenticular; testa thin, crustaceous or membranous.
Mostly Northern Hemisphere genus of c. 140 species; 4 naturalised and 2 endemic in Australia.