Small, clustering, acaulescent or shrubby, unarmed, pleonanthic, hermaphroditic or dioecious palms. Stem moderate if present, with very close leaf scars, usually completely obscured by persistent leaf sheaths. Leaves induplicate, palmate, marcescent; sheath expanding into a mass of discrete fibres, irregular or neatly joined at the tips opposite the petiole, or developed as rigid spines; petiole well developed, unarmed, ± semicircular in cross-section; adaxial hastula ± triangular or rounded, sometimes hairy, abaxial hastula obscure; blade neatly divided to ca. 2/3 of its radius into slender, single-fold, usually glaucous segments, tips shallowly split along the folds, surfaces often slightly dissimilar, scattered scales sometimes present on abaxial surface, midribs prominent abaxially, transverse veinlets obscure. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, arching out of the crown, branching to 1–3 orders; prophyll tubular, 2-keeled, narrow, elongate, usually obscured by the leaf sheaths; peduncular bracts 1–3 or more, similar to the prophyll; rachis bracts closely tubular with triangular limbs, each subtending a first-order branch; subsequent orders of bracts minute, inconspicuous; rachillae slender, bearing distant, spirally arranged, minute, triangular bracts subtending solitary or, rarely, groups of 2–3 flowers. Flowers very small; where plants dioecious, staminate and pistillate flowers superficially similar; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, ovate or triangular, glabrous; petals 3, joined for 1/3 to 1/2 their length at the base, somewhat imbricate in midportion, valvate near the tips, elongate, usually with somewhat thickened tips; stamens in staminate and hermaphroditic flowers 6, adnate to the petals, the filaments forming a thin or thick staminal cupule, or distinct, anthers rather short, latrorse; staminodes in pistillate flower similar to the stamens but with thinner slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 15–19 µm [3/3]. Fruit cupule and smaller, empty anthers; carpels 3, distinct, follicular, united usually developing from only 1 carpel, ellipsoidal (?always), with apical for a very short distance at the base, with triangular style, the carpel stigmatic remains, perianth whorls persistent; epicarp silky hairy when surface hairy distally in 2 species, glabrous in the third, ovules basally young, the hairs falling off at maturity (?always), mesocarp thin, fleshy, attached, anatropous or intermediate between anatropous and endocarp scarcely developed. Seed basally attached, endosperm hemianatropous with basal funicular arils; pistillode of staminate flower homogeneous, with a thin lateral intrusion of seed coat; embryo lateral minute, 3-lobed. Pollen ellipsoidal, usually bi-symmetric; aperture a distal opposite the intrusion. Germination not known; eophyll simple, entire, sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate, or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin plicate. Cytology not studied.