Description from Flora of China
Herbs, evergreen, creeping, stoloniferous, erect or rarely ascending, colony-forming, clump-forming, or solitary, terrestrial or rheophytic. Leaves ± crowded; petiole much longer than leaf blade, proximally sheathing; leaf blade usually paler or even glaucous abaxially, green adaxially, frequently with discolored banding along midrib or between midrib and submarginal veins, less often variously spotted, cordate, sagittate, less often lanceolate, softly subfleshy to thinly leathery; primary, secondary, and tertiary lateral veins parallel, or secondary and tertiary ones partly diverging at a narrow angle from primary veins, all reaching into a submarginal vein. Inflorescences usually several together; peduncle shorter than petioles. Spathe constricted, part below constriction persistent, enveloping female zone of spadix, distal spathe circumscissile and caducous [elsewhere variously caducous, marcescent, or less often persistent]. Stipe of spadix short or absent; proximal part of spadix axis equivalent to all or part of female zone adnate to spathe; spadix elongate; proximal part female, distal part male, these separated or not by an interstice either with staminodes or less often naked; male zone of spadix fertile proximally, sterile distally, falling off later than distal part of spathe. Flowers numerous, unisexual, naked; female flowers: ovary 1-loculed, ovules rather few to very numerous, on 2-4 parietal to subbasal placentae, stigma sessile, disciform; interpistillar staminodes sometimes present and female zone often with 1 or 2 rings of staminodes basally; male flowers: fertile flowers consisting of 2 or 3 connate stamens, filaments fused, connective thick, thecae excavate in center, dehiscing by a terminal pore, pollen shed in strings. Berry few to many seeded. Seeds subellipsoid, densely longitudinally grooved.
About 120 species: mostly in SE Asia, a few species in South America (although these possibly not congeneric); two species (one endemic) in China.
(Authors: Li Heng (李恒 Li Hen); Peter C. Boyce)