Perennial herbs, often epiphytic or epilithic, monoecious or dioecious by abortion, without stinging hairs; stems juicy or succulent. Leaves distichous, opposite and heteromorphous with one leaf of each pair reduced in size, or leaves apparently alternate, with one in each pair completely reduced; lamina crenate or serrate, rather fleshy, penninerved, with linear cystoliths; stipules intrapetiolar, fused. Inflorescences unisexual, pedunculate, in axils of existing or fallen leaves; male inflorescences: flowers in small pedunculate glomerules; female inflorescences capitate with fleshy receptacles on short fleshy peduncles. Male flowers pedicellate, pentamerous (rarely tetramerous), with rudimentary pistilode. Female flowers sessile with a persisting perianth of 4 or 5 free tepals; ovary erect, symmetrical, with a penicillate stigma. Achene ovoid, surrounded at base by accrescent perianth.
Species +/- 10, mostly in humid habitats in Old World tropics; 1 in sthn trop. Afr.: Procris crenata C.B.Rob., Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.