or perennial, erect or straggling herbs, glabrous and aromatic. Stem jointed at
nodes. Leaves decussate, or sometimes subverticillate in whorls of 4, serrate,
petiole-bases connected by a transverse line or shortly connate, stipules
small. Inflorescence a terminal spike, slender, sometimes branched, sometimes
leafy at base. Flowers essentially bisexual, male and female flowers connate in
pairs on a bract at base. Stamens 1 or 3, confluent, central anther 2-celled,
lateral anthers 1-celled. Ovary naked, stigma subsessile, truncate. Fruit a
drupe, white, fleshy. Seeds subglobose, minutely apiculate, narrowed below.