with short, leafy stems, perennial or biennial, terrestrial. Leaves long,
rigid, with spinous serrate edges. Inflorescence a spike, terminal, solitary,
cone-like, very dense, globose or oblong. Flowers sessile, embedded in axil of
each bract, only the spinescent tips of bracts projecting, uppermost bracts
empty, more or less leafy. Ovary 3-celled, inferior, ovules several in each
cell, horizontal or pendulous. Fruit fleshy, embedded in the fleshy receptacle,
the whole forming with the bracts, rachis, and receptacles a cone-like, fleshy
syncarp. Seeds few, ovoid or oblong, slightly compressed.