Trichosclereids present. HABIT : evergreen herbs usually with short, erect to creeping stem, appearing acaulescent, sometimes stoloniferous, occasionally erect and climbing. LEAVES : several. PETIOLE : geniculate apically, sheath long. BLADE : oblong to elliptic or narrowly elliptic, cuspidate-acuminate; primary lateral veins pinnate, running into marginal vein, secondary and tertiary laterals parallel-pinnate, higher order venation transverse-reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary. PEDUNCLE : subequal to or longer than petiole. SPATHE : oblong, elliptic, ovate or obovate, cuspidate-acuminate, ± decurrent at insertion, membranaceous to subcoriaceous, fully expanded, rarely fornicate or clasping, persistent, with distinct midrib and pinnate primary lateral veins, usually white, rarely green, turning green in fruit. SPADIX : usually stipitate, rarely sessile, stipe often partially adnate to spathe, spadix cylindric, erect, shorter than spathe. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigoniate; tepals 4-6, free, fornicate and almost truncate at apex, or partly or completely connate into a truncate cup. STAMENS : 4-6, filaments short, oblong, flattened, connective slender, thecae oblong-ellipsoid to ovoid, dehiscing by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : inaperturate, ellipsoid to ellipsoid-oblong, medium-sized (mean 32 µm., range 27-41 µm.), exine striate. GYNOECIUM : ovoid, subcylindric, obovoid or flask-shaped, ovary 3-locular, more rarely 2- or 4-locular, ovules 2, 4, 6 or 8 per locule, anatropous to hemianatropous, placenta axile, stylar region usually long, conic and long-exserted beyond perigone, sometimes shortly attenuate, sometimes ± truncate and not exserted and inconspicuous, stigma 2-3-lobed or subcapitate to punctiform. BERRY : rounded, ovoid to obovoid, or conically attenuate apically, 1-8-seeded, greenish. SEED : oblong, ellipsoid to ovoid or slightly curved and ± reniform, pale yellow to brown, funicle short, testa sparsely foveolate, otherwise smooth or verrucose, embryo axile, elongate, slightly curved, endosperm copious.
Evergreen herbs with short, erect to creeping stem; tissues with small trichosclereids occurring in bundles; petiole geniculate apically, sheath long; leaf blade oblong to elliptic, fine venation parallel pinnate; flowers bisexual, perigoniate, tepals free or connate into truncate cup. Differs from Holochlamys in persistent, widely spreading, usually white spathe, and free or connate tepals (Holochlamys always has connate tepals), 2-4-locular ovary, and axile placentation.