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DescriptionMonoecious or rarely dioecious annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or rarely trees. Stipules present. Leaves alternate, sometimes dotted with translucent glands, often 3-7-nerved from the base. Inflorescences various, bisexual or unisexual; the male inflorescences axillary, slender, catkin-like; female inflorescences axillary or terminal, often spicate. Inflorescences with both male and female flowers, usually female at the base and male above, less often the other way around. Male flowers very small, clustered in small inconspicuous bracts; petals 0; stamens usually 8. Female flowers either sessile and 1-3(-5) in an accrescent bract which becomes leaf-like or shortly stalked and solitary in a non-accrescent bract; petals 0; ovary (2-)3-locular. Allomorphic female flowers often terminate the inflorescence in annual species. These have no bract and have a 1-locular ovary.