Shrubs or subshrubs, covered with stellate and dendroid hairs in combination with simple (unbranched), uniseriate hairs. Leaves alternate, solitary or in fascicles, petiolate to subsessile; leaf blade flat, linear-lanceolate to ovate, base cuneate, rounded, or subcordate, margin entire, apex obtuse or acute. Flowers unisexual (plants monoecious or dioecious). Male flowers several in glomerules, forming an interrupted spike or subcapitate inflorescence, without bracts; perianth segments 4, ovate or elliptic, membranous, abaxially hairy, basally connate; stamens 4; anthers oblong; filaments linear, exserted. Female flowers axillary, 1 or 2 together; bractlets 2, united into a tube in proximal half or at base (here termed “female floral tube”), compressed, ellipsoid or obovoid, abaxially 4-fascicular villous or shortly hairy in fruit; perianth absent; ovary sessile, ellipsoid, hairy; style short; stigmas 2, pubescent. Utricle ellipsoid or narrowly obovoid, compressed; pericarp membranous, free from seed. Seed vertical; testa membranous; embryo semi-annular or horseshoe-shaped; radicle inferior.
Subshrubs, monoecious or dioecious, herbage densely tomentose, hairs stellate. Stems erect, not jointed or armed; basal branches woody, flowering branches herbaceous. Leaves alternate, petiolate; blade linear to narrowly lanceolate, not fleshy, base truncate, margins entire, revolute, apex blunt. Inflorescences axillary clusters or small spikes. Flowers unisexual; staminate flowers with bractlets absent, perianth 4-parted, stamens 4; pistillate flowers enclosed in 2 partially connate, slightly keeled, densely hirsute bractlets with free tips hornlike, perianth absent, stigmas 2, elongate. Fruiting structures ovate, flat utricles; pericarp free, thin . Seeds vertical, ovate; seed coat brown, covered with white hairs; embryo annular, perisperm copious. x = 9.
|Winterfat [for S. P. Krasheninnikova, 1711-1755, academician and professor in Saint Petersburg, author of the first flora of Saint Petersburg]|