Shrubs or lianes. Leaves alternate, with split or entire often auricled sheathing bases; blade flat or plicate, with a long acuminate straight or cirriform tip; venation fine, parallel. Inflorescence a panicle. Flowers bracteate, hermaphrodite or dioecious, regular. Perianth subpetaloid or glumaceous, of 6 segments in 2 whorls. Stamens 6, opposite the perianth-segments; anthers basifixed, dithecous. Ovary superior, globose, 3-locular, with a short style and 3 linear stigmas. Fruit a small drupe, 3–1-seeded. Seed hemispheric or spherical.
Erect or climbing. Leaves sometimes ending in a tendril; leaf-sheath embracing the stem, closed. Flowers hermaphrodite or dioecious, in terminal panicles. Perianth persistent, segments 6, 2-seriately imbricate, dry or somewhat petaloid. Stamens 6; anthers 2-locular, introrse, opening lengthwise by slits. Ovary superior, 3-locular; style 3-lobed. Ovules solitary in each loculus, spreading or pendulous from the central axis. Fruit indehiscent, fleshy or drupaceous. Seeds with copious endosperm.
Perennial lianas from sympodial rhizomes; aerial shoots solid, glabrous. Leaves alternate, distichously arranged, glabrous, rolled in bud; sheath closed, distally with 2 lateral lobes; lamina lanceolate-acuminate constricted at base, distal part prolonged into a tendril. Inflorescence terminal, paniculiform. Flowers usually hermaphroditic, trimerous, (sub-)sessile, without prophylls. Tepals in 2 whorls, whitish, membranous, subequal, persistent, their bases shortly fused and somewhat saccate. Stamens in 2 whorls, occasionally reduced to staminodia; filaments very short, anthers linear, basifixed tetrasporangiate, laterally dehiscent by longitudinal slits. Ovary syncarpous, superior, 3-locular with axile placentation; style short, divided into 3 spreading, linear stigmatic branches with papillose upper surface; ovules solitary in each locule, pendulous, bitegmic, almost atropous, crassinucellate. Fruit drupaceous, red or black, 1(-2)-seeded; seeds with abundant starchy endosperm, embryo minute, lenticular.
A monogeneric family with about four species, widespread throughout the Palaeotropis including Australia and the Pacific Islands.
With kind permission from Springer Science+Business Media: This work is subject to copyright. All rights reserved, whether whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, broadcasting reproduction on microfilm or in any other way, and storage in data banks. Duplication of this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the German Copyright Law of September 9, 1965, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer-Verlag. Violations are liable for prosecution under German Copyright Law.All Rights Reserved