Description from Flora of China
Stems clustered or less often solitary, ringed with prominent leaf scars, tall to short or subterranean. Leaves 5-11, pinnate or occasionally undivided; leaf sheaths closed, forming a prominent, yellowish to reddish green crownshaft (rarely open and not forming crownshafts), usually covered with variously colored scales; pinnae regularly arranged along rachis, spreading in same plane, linear to sigmoid, 1- to several veined, at leaf apex pinnae joined with only a short split at tip, giving pinnae a lobed appearance. Inflorescences branched to 1 order, with a few rachillae, sometimes spicate, borne below crownshaft, rarely among leaves, covered initially with prophyll; rachillae becoming pendulous, seldom remaining erect, usually smooth, sometimes hairy; flowers unisexual, borne throughout in triads of 1 female flower flanked by 2 male flowers, these arranged distichously along rachillae, or less often tristichously or spirally. Fruits red, orange, or black, small, ellipsoid to globose or spindle-shaped, commonly beaked, 1-seeded, ripening through a series of colors, commonly from green to pink to red to black; endosperm ruminate, rarely homogeneous; germination adjacent; eophylls bifid.
The record in FRPS (13(1): 140. 1991) of Pinanga hexasticha (Kurz) Scheffer is probably based on a misidentification. Pinanga hexasticha is restricted to Myanmar.
About 137 species: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam; five species (one endemic) in China.