herbs. Leaves alternate, entire or sub-entire. Inflorescence long, axillary,
spiciform racemes consisting of a central fertile flower and two highly
modified, sterile, unibracteolate lateral flowers. Perianth segments 4-5,
hyaline, tepals almost free, erect, outer 2 larger than other 3. Stamens 5,
filaments free, anthers bilocular. Ovary obovoid, truncate with a single ovule,
lateral on a curved funicle, style filiform, stigmas 2, recurved. Fruit a hard
indehiscent nutlet, enclosed by the persistent perianth and falling together
with the sterile flowers and bracteoles. Seeds subglobose, exarillate, erect.