HABIT : evergreen climbing herbs, sometimes very robust, sometimes producing flagelliform shoots, shoots with leaves evenly spaced or forming rosulate flowering zones separated by zones with elongated internodes and smaller leaves. LEAVES : many, juvenile plants often of shingle form. PETIOLE : geniculate apically, sheath usually broad, rarely decomposing to form persistent net-fibrous mass with abundant, stinging sclereids. BLADE : always entire, lanceolate, elliptic or ovate to obovate, acuminate, rarely variegated; primary lateral veins hardly differentiated, pinnate, running into marginal vein, secondaries and also sometimes tertiaries parallel-pinnate, higher order venation inconspicuous, transverse-reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : always solitary. PEDUNCLE : shorter than petiole. SPATHE : boat-shaped, gaping only slightly, caducous to deciduous. SPADIX : sessile to shortly stipitate, cylindric, narrowly ellipsoid or clavate, a little shorter than spathe. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigone absent. STAMENS : 4, filaments oblong, flattened, broadish, connective slender, thecae oblong-ellipsoid, dehiscing by apical slit. POLLEN : fully zonate, hamburger-shaped, medium-sized (mean 38 µm., range 33-45 µm.), exine shallowly and sparsely punctate, scabrate or nearly psilate. GYNOECIUM : ovary sometimes short, compressed ± cylindric, 1-locular, ovules 1(-2), anatropous, funicle short, placenta basal, stylar region well-developed, prismatic, truncate or with shortly conic central projection supporting stigma, stigma globose, elongate-globose, elliptic, linear, or punctiform. BERRY : stylar region deciduous when mature, red. SEED : rounded, subreniform, compressed, testa thickish, sparsely verruculose or smooth, embryo curved, endosperm present (Seubert 1993).
Evergreen, climbing hemiepiphytes; trichosclereids abundant; petiole sheath usually broad and extending almost to apical geniculum; leaf blade always entire and non-perforated, visible finer venation parallel-pinnate; spathe deciduous after flowering; flowers bisexual, perigone absent; ovary 1-locular, ovules amphitropous to anatropous, solitary, basal; seed rounded, subreniform, compressed.