Fleshy, tuberous, seasonally dormant herbs; tuber producing aerial shoots bearing burr-like bulbils. Leaves often solitary, sometimes 2–3, subtended by several basal cataphylls; petiole fleshy with inconspicuous sheath, not pulvinate apically; blade peltate-cordate, ovate to lanceolate in outline; fine veins reticulate, arching towards margin. Inflorescence solitary, appearing before leaves. Spathe with lower part convolute into a tube with constricted apex, upper part an expanded limb, reflexed or ± cucullate. Spadix with basal part pistillate (extreme base with sterile pistillodes), central part slender, subconic, composed of ± prismatic sterile flowers, apical part composed of fertile staminate flowers, clavate-cylindric, stout, projecting beyond spathe-tube. Flowers unisexual, without perigon, densely congested. Staminate flower a truncate fluted synandrium composed of 2–3 connate stamens; anthers lateral, dehiscing by apical pores. Pistil ovoid; ovary unilocular or 2–4-locular in apical region; ovules numerous on 2–4 parietal placentas; stigma sessile, discoid to subglobose. Berries included within persistent spathe-tube, subglobose, many-seeded. Seeds with copious endosperm; embryo axile.
HABIT : small to medium-sized, seasonally dormant herbs, tuber subglobose, producing erect to spreading, unbranched or branching stolons from axils of scarious, deciduous cataphylls, stolons producing small, ovoid tubercles at nodes, each invested by numerous, apically revolute or flexuose scales (minute cataphylls). LEAVES : 1-2. PETIOLE : ± slender, sheath relatively short. BLADE : peltate, cordate-lanceolate to cordate-ovate, acuminate; basal ribs well-developed, primary lateral veins pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein very close to margin, marginal vein also present, secondary and tertiary laterals arising from the primaries at a wide angle, then arching towards leaf margin and forming inconspicuous interprimary collective veins, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing with or without leaf. PEDUNCLE : shorter than petiole. SPATHE : strongly constricted between tube and blade, sometimes with secondary constriction above the spadix, tube with convolute margins, persistent, enclosing female zone and sterile zone of spadix, blade yellow or red, longer than tube, fully expanded or remaining convolute and opening only at base, sometimes becoming reflexed (R. vivipara, R. yunnanensis), later deciduous. SPADIX : sessile, much shorter than spathe, female zone subcylindric, about half as long as spathe tube, separated from male zone by much narrower zone of sterile male flowers, male zone ellipsoid or subclavate, fertile to apex, obtuse. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 2-3-androus, stamens connate into cuneate-clavate, 4-6-sulcate synandrium, fused filament distinct, common connectives somewhat excavated at apex, thecae 4-6, oblong to ellipsoid, dehiscing by apical pore-like slit. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, spherical to subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean 32-33 µm.), spinose. STERILE MALE FLOWERS : each a ± elongated synandrode. FEMALE FLOWER : staminodes absent, ovary broadly ovoid to subglobose, 1-locular or partially 2-4-locular at apex, ovules many, hemiorthotropous, funicle short to long, placentae 2-4 and parietal or placenta 1 and basal, style very shortly attenuate or lacking, stigma discoid-subcapitate or slightly 3-4-lobed. BERRY : obovoid to globose, many-seeded, infructescence ellipsoid, borne within persistent spathe tube. SEED : ellipsoid to subglobose, covered by thick, succulent sarcotesta or testa verruculose to irregularly costate, embryo axile, short, ovoid to subglobose, endosperm copious.
Seasonally dormant, tuberous epiphytes, lithophytes or geophytes; leaves 1-2; leaf blade peltate, cordate-ovate, fine venation colocasioid; spathe blade withering and deciduous after flowering; spadix fertile to apex, male and female zones separated by much narrower sterile zone ; ovary 1- locular or partially 2-4-locular, ovules many. Differs from Steudnera in female flowers lacking staminodes, spathe with 1 or 2 constrictions, stem tuberous and producing aerial stolons bearing small tubercles covered in hooked scales.
Tropical seasonal forest; epiphytes, lithophytes or geophytes, moss-laden boughs, rock crevices, damp banks, forest floor.