Evergreen or deciduous, woody climbers or more or less scandent shrubs (rarely recorded as small trees). Leaves simple, ovate or elliptic to lanceolate, 2-25 by 1-10 cm, herbaceous to coriaceous, petioled, entire or very rarely subentire; Flowers bisexual, 5-merous, actinomorphic, up to c. 15 mm diam., green to white, yellow, or purple, axillary, either solitary, or arranged in a few- to many-flowered cyme, appearing before or with the new leaves. Sepals 5(-7, see bracteoles), equal to very unequal mutually, mostly ± confluent at the base, variable in size and shape but often suborbicular or broad-ovate to ovate, persistent. Petals 5, rarely 6 or 7, episepalous, imbricate, suborbicular to lanceolate, glabrous, sometimes (sub)ciliolate, persistent OR Not; Stamens 5, epipeta-lous, ± equal, persistent or not; Ovary superior, 2-celled, (sub)globose to subreniform, usually laterally somewhat compressed, very rarely subapocarpous. Ovules 2 per cell, more or less superimposed, attached to the septum, hemi-anatropous. 'Drupelets' 1-seeded or very rarely with 2 seeds, (sub)globose, obovoid, oblong-obovoid (or pyriform), or subreniform, laterally ± compressed, green or white to red or deep blue when fresh; Seed conform to the drupelet;
Asia-Temperate: Asia-Tropical:, Lesser Sunda Is.; New Guinea present Burma: present Himalayas: present Indo-Malesia: present Louisiades: present S. Deccan: present S. Japan: present Solomon Islands: present
Indo-Malesia, along the Himalayas (1 species disjunct, also in the S. Deccan) through Burma and China to S. Japan; throughout Malesia (not yet known from the Lesser Sunda Islands), as far as New Guinea, the Louisiades and Solomon Islands. In all 19 species, of which 7 in Malesia. .