Herbs, perennial, glabrous or pubescent, from stout, ± woody taproots. Stems erect to reclining, often clambering through other vegetation, unarmed, with glutinous bands on internodes. Leaves subsessile to long petiolate, unequal in size in each pair; blade thin or thick and slightly fleshy, base ± asymmetric. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, pedunculate, racemose; bracts deciduous, 1 at base of each pedicel, distinct, lanceolate, thin, translucent. Flowers bisexual, chasmogamous and/or cleistogamous; perianth of cleistogamous flowers forming low dome atop basal portion; perianth of chasmogamous flowers slightly bilaterally symmetric, funnelform, strongly oblique, constricted beyond ovary, tube flared, limbs 5-lobed; stamens 5 (fewer in cleistogamous flowers), exserted; styles exserted beyond anthers; stigmas capitate. Fruits clavate, ± gibbous abaxially, often gently incurved adaxially, stiffly coriaceous; ribs 10, not well defined, with or without interrupted ridges or tubercules, glabrous. In its racemose inflorescence and clavate fruits, Cyphomeris resembles some species of Boerhavia Linnaeus, where its retention has been suggested by F. R. Fosberg (1978).