Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, often shortly rhizomatous, sometimes long stoloniferous, often glabrous, sometimes scabrous. Roots fleshy. Stem erect, simple or branched in distal part, with 1 to several sheaths proximally. Leaves concentrated in distal part of stem, alternate, often shortly petiolate, sometimes sessile, linear to suborbicular, 3--7-veined. Inflorescences terminal or pseudolateral (terminal on a short, lateral branchlet opposite a leaf), umbellate or with flowers paired or solitary; bract absent. Flowers bisexual, often nodding, sometimes horizontal, tubular-campanulate to opening flat. Tepals 6, free, white, greenish, yellow, pink, dark red, or dark purple, often saccate or spurred at base. Stamens 6, inserted at base of tepals; filaments usually slightly flat; anthers basifixed to innate, extrorse. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules 2--6 per locule. Style filiform, 3-lobed to 3-fid apically with ± recurved lobes. Fruit a berry, dark blue to black, 2(--6)-seeded. Seeds globose or ovoid.
The North American genus Prosartes D. Don has often been included in Disporum but recent micromorphological, karyological, phytochemical, and molecular phylogenetic studies indicate that separation of the two genera is appropriate.
Twenty species: Bhutan, China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Sikkim, Thailand, Vietnam; 14 species (eight endemic) in China.
(Authors: Liang Songyun (梁松筠 Liang Song-jun); Minoru N. Tamura)