Unarmed lianas or scandent shrubs (in Asia). Leaves bipinnate, not sensitive to the touch, rachis and pinnae without extrafloral nectaries, the terminal pinnae transformed into tendrils; Stipules not spinescent, inconspicuous. Inflorescence a pedunculate, axillary or supra-axillary spike or spiciform raceme. Flowers pentamerous, uniform, male or bisexual. Petals valvate, free, or shortly united at the base. Stamens 10, free; Seeds globular, flattened or irregularly compressed, with a hard testa without areole (in Asian species), wingless, aril absent, endosperm absent;
Asia: present Asia-Tropical: Pantropical: present
Pantropical, with c. 30 species; in Asia 7 or 8 species, in Malesia 5. .
Due to lack of field observations, we do not know much about the development and the morphology of the woody stems of Entada, but from the few observations available, the trunks of E. phaseoloides and E. rheedii are twisted close to the ground; in New Guinea the trunk base of E. phaseoloides specimens may attain a girth of 3 m. Investigations in Gabon  have shown that E. gigas Fawcett & Rendle, which is close to E. rheedii, has stems often > 30 cm in diameter, which may grow extremely quickly towards the light. In the canopy such large specimens often entangle several trees.
Brenan (1967, l.c.) recognized two subgenera, viz. subg. Entada with 6 sections and subg. Acanthentada Brenan, which later on was referred to the African — South American genus Adenopodia Brenan . The Asian species E. rheedii, E. spiralis, E. phaseoloides, and E. borneensis belong to subg. Entada sect. Entada subsect. Entada. Entada parvifolia belongs to subsect. Sphaerospermae Brenan [Kew Bull. 20 (1967) 363] together with the Indochinese E. glandulosa and E. reticulata.
The term 'rachis' in the description of the leaves does not cover the extension beyond the terminal pair of leaflet-bearing pinnae.