Description from Flora of China
Herbs, perennial, unarmed; stems creeping and rooting at nodes. Raphides present. Leaves opposite, usually broadly ovate to cordate and long petiolate, without domatia; stipules persistent, interpetiolar, generally triangular, entire [or 2-lobed]. Inflorescences terminal or pseudoaxillary, cymose to capitate, few to several flowered, pedunculate, bracteate. Flowers sessile or subsessile, bisexual, apparently monomorphic. Calyx limb 4-7-lobed. Corolla white, funnelform, inside pubescent in throat; lobes 4-7, valvate in bud. Stamens 4-7, inserted in corolla tube, included or partly exserted; filaments developed; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary 2-celled, ovules 1 in each cell, erect, basal; stigma 2-lobed, included or exserted. Fruit orange or red [or sometimes blue or black], drupaceous, globose to ellipsoid, fleshy, with calyx limb persistent; pyrenes 2, 1-celled, each with 1 seed, hard, plano-convex and sometimes longitudinally twisted, dorsally (i.e., abaxially) smooth to ridged, ventrally (i.e., adaxially) with a median ridge and 2 submarginal longitudinal grooves; seeds medium-sized; testa membranous; endosperm corneous.
About 30 species: widespread in tropical Africa, Asia, Central, North, and South America, and Madagascar; one species in China.
(Authors: Chen Tao (陈涛); Charlotte M. Taylor)