Laticifers present, simple, articulated. HABIT : climbing herbs, small to robust, stem long, producing flagelliform shoots with long internodes and bearing only cataphylls, followed by thicker, flowering stems with several foliage leaves and short internodes. LEAVES : many. PETIOLE : geniculate apically, geniculum sometimes inconspicuous, sheath short to long. BLADE : oblong-lanceolate or oblong to cordate, sagittate, or hastate, or trifid with acuminate segments, sometimes laciniate-pinnatifid with slit-like perforations extending to margin forming large rhomboid to obtriangular lobes (C. camerunensis, C. mirabilis), resin glands pellucid, linear or punctate; primary lateral veins pinnate, running into marginal vein, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : usually 1-4 in each floral sympodium (up to 16 in C.camerunensis). PEDUNCLE : shorter than spathe. SPATHE : erect, thick, boat-shaped to subcylindric, convolute basally into a tube, gaping apically at anthesis, not constricted, persistent to marcescent. SPADIX : sessile, shorter than spathe, female zone shorter and contiguous with male. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 2-4-androus, stamens prismatic, slightly narrowed basally, usually short and relatively broad, sometimes rather long and narrow (C. camerunensis, C. mirabilis), filament very short, connective broad, thecae shortly oblong to linear, dehiscing by small apical slit. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ellipsoid to oblong or spherical to subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean ca. 40 µm., range 36-55 µm.), exine obscurely fossulate-verrucate, or almost perfectly psilate (C. camerunensis, C. mirabilis). FEMALE FLOWER : ovary obovoid, 1-locular, ovule 1, hemianatropous to anatropous, rarely campylotropous (C. taiensis), funicle very short, placenta parietal to subbasal, stigma sessile to subsessile, often rather broad, discoid, often somewhat concave centrally. BERRY : infructescence ellipsoid to oblong, berries obovoid to subglobose or ellipsoid, red, pericarp thick. SEED : obovoid to ellipsoid, testa smooth, thin, embryo large, outer cell layer green, endosperm absent.
Climbing hemi-epiphytes or creeping terrestrials; petiole rather weakly geniculate apically; leaf blade with resin canals and reticulate fine venation; spadix sessile, fertile to apex; female zone of spadix contiguous with male, flowers unisexual, perigone absent; stamens free; ovary 1-locular. Differs from Culcasia in producing flagelliform shoots with long internodes, leaf blades oblong-lanceolate to cordate, sagittate, hastate, trifid or laciniate-pinnatifid (in Culcasia leaf blades always simple, acute to rounded at base).