Description from Flora of China
Vines herbaceous or herbs twining, usually fleshy, glabrous. Leaves simple, alternate, usually petiolate, margin entire. Inflorescences of spikes, racemes, or panicles; bracts 3, caducous; bracteoles 2, persistent. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, small. Perianth segments 5, white or reddish, distinct or connate at base, imbricate in bud, persistent in fruit. Stamens 5, opposite to petals; filaments inserted on perianth. Ovary superior, 1-loculed; ovule 1, basal, campylotropous. Pistil united from 3 carpels. Style simple with 3 stigmas or 3 free styles. Fruit a utricle, dry or fleshy, often surrounded by persistent bracteoles and perianth. Seed globular; testa membranous; endosperm copious; embryo spirally twisted or semicircular to horseshoe-shaped.
Four genera and 25 species: tropics and subtropics, mostly in the Americas; two genera (introduced) and three species in China.
(Authors: Lu Dequan (鲁德全) ; Michael G. Gilbert)
Lu Dequan. 1996. Basellaceae. In: Tang Changlin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 43–47.