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Genus of this Family


Annual or perennial, erect or twining herbs. Leaves alternate or opposite, margin deeply divided, lobes lanceolate, serrate, penninerved or palmatinerved, stipulate, persistent. Flowers small, axillary, unisexual, plants dioecious, males fascicled in short pendulous cymes, females in axillary racemes or in pairs, bracts in females, convolute or broad catkin-like. Male flowers: 5 sepals, imbricate, petal absent, stamens 5, adnate to sepals, filaments filiform, anthers oblong, pistillode absent. Female flowers: hyaline perianth, embracing base of ovary within bract, ovary sessile, comprised, 2 carpels, 1 fertile and 1 sterile, fertile 1-locular, style terminal. Fruit compressed, crustaceous nut or of 2 flattened achenes enclosed in sepals. Seeds flattened, fleshy.