This genus consists of trailing shrubs with numerous very long slender jointed green branches, and small scale-like leaves. The fruit is a 2-seeded berry. These shrubs inhabit the rocky shores of the Mediterranean and salt plains of Asia. The generic name is of Greek origin, and was applied by the ancients to the Horsetail (Hippuris vulgaris).

E. altissima and E. distachya, from the Mediterranean region, and E. monostachya from Siberia, will flourish near the sea in the South-western counties. They are suitable for covering rock-work or pillars. The first is very showy when covered with its scarlet berries.