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Low juicy herbs with a short, unbranched, largely overground green rhizome with pale roots; Leaves papyraceous when dry; Inflorescences axillary, either short-peduncled simple racemes or long-peduncled compound racemes; Flowers with one kind of perianth, 5-merous; Stamens epitepalous; Ovary inferior, one-celled, ovules numerous on three inward projecting longitudinally furrowed, parietal placentas; Fruit berry-like, sharply longitudinally 10-ridged, the perianth persisting. Seeds many, with a collar-like undulate aril covering about one third of the seed;


Asia-Tropical, N and W Central Sumatra endemic
Malesia: the genus is locally endemic to N and W Central Sumatra, with 2 species.


Leaf epidermis anticlinal cell walls straight; stomatal complex tetracytic to cyclocytic; crystals present as abundant styloids and raphides, also as minute, irregularly shaped, solitary crystals. Minute druses have been found throughout the mesophyl. For comparison with Stemonaceae, see there (p. 400).


2n = 14 (P. egregia).


The descriptions of both species given below have been largely made on living material and material preserved in alcohol.