HABIT : evergreen herbs, solitary or forming small clumps, rhizomatous, aerial stem erect to decumbent, internodes distinct, unarmed. LEAVES : several. PETIOLE : long, aculeate, spines either patent or pointing downwards, geniculate apically, sheath short. BLADE : unarmed, sagittate to hastate or almost tripartite, coriaceous, posterior divisions ± equalling anterior, sometimes longer; basal ribs well-developed, primary lateral veins mostly arising near petiole insertion, long-arcuate towards division apex and running into margin, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary. PEDUNCLE : subequal to petiole and similar in appearance. SPATHE : ovate-lanceolate, fully expanded, persistent, red brown. SPADIX : shorter or equalling spathe, cylindric, stipitate, stipe basally adnate to spathe, flowering sequence basipetal. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigoniate; tepals 4-6, fornicate. STAMENS : 4-6, filaments free, oblong, flattened, connective slender, thecae ellipsoid, dehiscing by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : monosulcate, ellipsoid-oblong, small (mean 18 µm.), exine scabrate or verruculate, minutely foveolate between verruculae. GYNOECIUM : cylindric to obovoid, ovary 1-locular, ovule 1, anatropous, placenta parietal to subbasal, stigma discoid- hemispheric. BERRY : ovoid to ellipsoid, smooth, strongly exserted at maturity, very prominent and thicker than spadix, red. SEED : curved, ± spherical, testa thin, hard, smooth, dark brown, embryo curved, endosperm present but only as a few cell layers.
Rhizomatous evergreen helophytes with short aerial stem; petiole with obvious spines, geniculate apically; leaf blade deeply sagittate to almost subtripartite; peduncle long, subequalling petiole; spathe ovate-lanceolate, fully expanded; spadix narrowly cylindric, stipitate; flowers bisexual, perigoniate. Differs from Cyrtosperma in petiole spines both straight and down-turned, aerial stem with distinct internodes and smooth, ± orbicular seeds to 7 mm in diameter.