Glabrous shrubs or small trees, usually parasitic on the branches and roots of other plants. Leaves entire, alternate or opposite, often reduced to scales; stipules absent. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, regular. Perianth segments 3–5, valvate, minute or petaloid. Stamens as many as the perianth segments and opposite them. Ovary inferior half-inferior or superior, 1-locular; ovule solitary, basal; style simple. Fruit a nut, drupaceous or a 1-seeded sticky berry,. 43 gen., temp. to trop.