Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, tufted, rhizomatous, stoloniferous. Stems remaining short until flowering. Pseudostems composed of closely packed leaf sheaths, more than 60 cm, base slightly swollen. Leaves large; petiole long, base enlarged into a sheath; leaf blade oblong. Inflorescence terminal, erect, pendulous, or subpendulous, not conical, lax. Bracts green, brown, dull purple, or rarely yellow, flat or furrowed, convolute or imbricate in bud, usually deciduous. Flowers in l or 2 rows per bract, deciduous; flowers in proximal bracts female (with reduced stamens) or bisexual; flowers in distal bracts male (with reduced gynoecium); sometimes (in cultivated or semicultivated forms) all flowers functionally sterile. Compound tepal tubular, soon splitting to base on 1 side, apex 5-toothed; free tepal inserted within compound tepal and opposite to it. Stamens 5; filaments short; anthers linear, 2-loculed. Berries elongate, fleshy, with numerous seeds (except in parthenocarpic forms). Seeds irregularly globose to lenticular.
About 30 species: mainly in SE Asia; 11 species (two endemic, three introduced) in China.