Trees or shrubs,
perennial, from tuberous taproot. Stems
erect, divaricately branching, unarmed, internodes without glutinous bands, glabrate (short pubescent). Leaves
petiolate; blade broadly lanceolate to obovate, thin, margins entire. Inflorescences
in axils of leaves, compound cymose, loose, each flower subtended by 2-3 bracts. Flowers
unisexual, (plants dioecious), chamogamous, narrow; staminate perianth 5-toothed, tubular to narrowly campanulate, limb not reflexed at maturity, stamens 5-10, exceeding perianth; pistillate perianth 5-toothed, tubular, closing over ovary, styles slender, barely exserted, stigmas tipped by fine hairs. Fruits
bright orange-red, becoming weakly 10-ribbed upon drying, obovoid to globose, fleshy, glandless. The genus is closely allied with Neea
Ruiz & Pavón, another dioecious, fleshy-fruited, shrubby member of the Nyctaginaceae restricted to the Neotropics. See E. L. Little Jr. (1968) for additional synonymy.