Mostly monoecious trees or shrubs, often of “weeping” habit, with numerous slender, jointed, angular, and striate branches. Leaves reduced to minute scales or toothed sheaths. Flowers small, unisexual, with or without perianth. Male flowers in spike-like inflorescences, born in whorls within successive sheaths towards the branch-tips; each flower with one stamen, 2 perianth leaves and 2 bracteoles (often interpreted as 4 bracteoles). Female flowers in lateral, dense, spherical heads; each flower in the axil of a bract, without a perianth, but protected by 2 bracteoles; ovary superior, uni-locular; style short, with 2 long stigmas which hang out beyond the bracts; ovules 2, collateral on a single, parietal placenta. After fertilization the female inflorescence becomes cone-like, the woody bracts subtending winged achenes. Seeds without endosperm. One genus indigenous in the southern hemisphere. 40—50 species, mostly in Australia.