Aerial stem-parasitic shrubs, often robust, with epicortical runners bearing secondary haustoria. Leaves opposite. Inflorescences axillary, a more or less sessile involucrate head of 1-few decussate pairs of flowers on a short floral axis; involucral bracts decussate, enlarged, rigid, often keeled, brightly coloured, imbricate, tightly enclosing the developing flowers, the lower ones sterile and the upper ones subtending the flowers; lateral bracts 2 enclosing each flower. Fruit ellipsoid to obovate.
Asia-Tropical: Borneo present, Peninsular Thailand present, northern and western Malesia present
Genus of 8 species, endemic to northern and western Malesia except for 1 species which reaches peninsular Thailand. The centre of species richness is Borneo.
Danser realigned Macrosolen, Elytranthe and Lepidaria in , transferring E. arnottiana to Lepidaria, and reinstating the genus Lepidella for several species of Lepidaria (see notes under Macrosolen and Elytranthe). However, the basic generic character is the involucre of sterile, imbricate floral bracts subtending an essentially capitate sessile inflorescence, and Lepidaria and Lepidella share this character and belong together. Lepidella represents the extreme in inflorescence reduction and compaction, with the 2 remaining pairs of flowers on a relatively flat receptacle, whereas in Lepidaria there are more pairs of flowers and the receptacle is stepped accordingly. Lepidaria (sens, lat.) is clearly distinct from Elytranthe (including E. arnottiana), where the inflorescence is a well-developed spike in which the function of the involucre is provided by the floral bracts. Morphology &