Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, often with tuberous rhizomes. Leaves several, basal, sessile or petiolate; leaf blade usually lanceolate, plicate, leathery or papery. Flowering stems axillary, erect or apically bent downward, long or short. Inflorescences racemose, spicate, or subcapitate. Flowers bisexual or unisexual. Perianth often yellow; segments spreading, subequal, sometimes basally connate into a tube. Stamens inserted at base of perianth segments; anther nearly basifixed or dorsifixed; filament very short, sometimes subequaling anther. Ovary usually hairy; ovules 2 to many. Style columnar, slender; stigma 3-lobed. Fruit a berry, indehiscent, apex sometimes beaked; beak (when present) formed by persistent perianth tube. Seeds small, often striped; hilum conspicuous.
Wu Zhengyi (editor’s note) believes that species nos. 1--4 would be better treated in the genus Molineria which has recently been treated as separate from Curculugo, e.g., by Nordal (in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 3: 294. 1998).
About 20 species: tropical and subtropical regions worldwide; seven species (two endemic) in China.