Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, mostly dioecious, rarely monoecious or hermaphroditic. Rhizomes usually covered with imbricate scales; scales glabrous or with various types of unicellular or multicellular hairs. Stem erect, simple or branched, terete, quadrangular, or compressed; nodes solid; internodes solid or hollow. Leaves alternate, mostly scattered along stem, usually reduced to an open leaf sheath with a rudimentary blade; leaf sheath closely appressed to stem or inflated; ligule usually obscure or absent, apex sometimes elongate. Male and female inflorescences sometimes dissimilar, of (1- to) many-flowered spikelets or much branched and occasionally with leafy bracts; bracteoles chaffy. Flowers mostly unisexual, small; male flowers sometimes with a pistillode; female flowers sometimes with staminodes. Perianth usually in 2 whorls, seldom reduced or absent; segments scalelike. Stamens (1--)3(or 4), inserted opposite inner perianth segments; filaments free or rarely connate; anthers 1(or 2)-loculed, introrse or seldom latrorse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; pollen grains 2- or 3-nucleate, 1-porate. Ovary 1--3-loculed; ovule 1 per locule, pendulous, orthotropous. Styles 1--3, free or basally connate; stigma elongate, often plumose. Fruit a nut or loculicidal capsule, usually small. Endosperm copious, mealy; embryo biconvex, small.
Wu Kuo-fang. 1997. Restionaceae. In: Wu Kuo-fang, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 13(3): 5--7.
About 55 genera and 490 species: widely distributed in the S hemisphere, best developed in SW Africa and SW Australia: one species in China.
(Authors: Wu Guofang (吴国芳 Wu Kuo-fang); Kai Larsen)