succulent herbs or undershrubs with thick rhizome or tuber. Leaves alternate,
more or less unequal sided, entire, toothed or lobed, stipulate, stipules 2,
free, frequently deciduous. Inflorescence dichotomously pedunculate cymes.
Flowers showy, white, rose or yellow, sometimes small or monoecious, bracts and
bracteoles present. Male flowers: perianth segments petaloid, usually 2, outer
pairs valvate, stamens numerous, free or connate in a bundle, anthers linear,
oblong or clavate. Female flowers: perianth segments 2-5, ovary inferior, 2-4
celled, styles 2-4, free or connate base, ovules numerous, placentation axile.
Fruits capsular, winged, variously dehiscing. Seeds minute, numerous, pitted.