Erect, stemless, perennial herbs. Leaves basal, usually distinctly petioled, the blade sublinear to ovate or obovate, many-nerved. Inflorescence a simple raceme. Flowers 1-6-nate in the axils of each bract. Ovary wall rupturing early in the growth of the seeds which are therefore exposed during most of their development. Ovary superior to inferior, 3-celled; Seeds blue, ellipsoid to pyriform, with fleshy testa;
Asia-Tropical: Borneo present; Jawa (Jawa present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Sumatera (Sumatera present), Continental SE. Asia present, Lesser Sunda Is present, NE. India present, Sumbawa present, West Malesia present, southern China present, southern Deccan present
Monotypic, widespread in continental SE. Asia, from the southern Deccan to NE. India and southern China, in West Malesia: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Is. (Sumbawa) and Borneo.
In the past far too many species were described. For an account of the taxonomic problems on specific delimitation, see Jessop (1976).