Dioecious, slender shrubby perennials from short rhizomes. Roots fibrous. Rhizome with monocotyledonous secondary thickening. Stems thin, branching, erect or dextrorsely twisting. Leaves alternate, distichous, shortly petiolate, without a sheathing base; blades ovate; veins numerous, parallel, close, with many cross-veins, midrib prominent. Inflorescence an axillary bostryx or flowers borne singly. Flowers small, hypogynous, actinomorphic, articulated on the pedicels with a short pericladium; perianth marcescent, not twisted after anthesis; tepals in 2 whorls of 3, subequal, united for about 2/3 of their length, white or pale green. Stamens 6 in 2 whorls; filaments adnate to the tepals; anthers 2-thecate, 4- sporangiate, basal-dorsifixed, introrse, dehiscing longitudinally by slits. Gynoecium of 3 united carpels, ovary 3-locular with septal nectaries; style simple, stigma 3-lobate; ovules few per locule, anatropous, in 2 rows on axile placentas. Fruit a berry. Seeds few to numerous, medium-sized, angular, pale brown/yellow drying blackish brown; embryo clavate, about 2/3 as long as the seed; endosperm copious, without starch.