Description from Flora of China
Herbs annual. Stem erect or decumbent. Leaves alternate, petiolate, margin entire. Flowers unisexual, on same plant or not, sessile, clustered at axils and at apex, in solitary or complex thyrsoid structures; each flower with 1 bract and 2 bracteoles, scarious. Tepals 5, rarely 1-4, erect or obliquely spreading, sometimes indurate at base after anthesis, green, equal or subequal, membranous. Stamens 5, rarely 1-4; filaments free, filiform, pseudostaminodes absent; anthers 2-loculed. Ovary with 1 erect ovule; style short or absent; stigmas 2 or 3, persistent, subulate or linear. Utricles globose or ovoid, laterally compressed, membranous, dehiscent by lid, dehiscing irregularly or falling off together with perianth and indehiscent. Seeds black or brown, globose or lenticular, without aril.
About 40 species: worldwide; 14 species (one endemic, at least eight introduced) in China.