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Unarmed terrestrial or aquatic herbs. Leaves bipinnate, sensitive to the touch, rachis with or without extrafloral nectaries, pinnae eglandular; Stipules not spinescent. Inflorescences consisting of a pedunculate, solitary, axillary, elliptic glomerule, with bisexual flowers in the distal part, and sterile flower with ± elongated staminodes at the base. Petals 5, free or ± fused at the base. Stamens 10, free, all fertile in the bisexual flowers; Seeds ± flattened, brown, with a hard brown testa with pleurogram.


Asia present, Asia-Tropical, tropics of the Old and New World present
11 species in the tropics of the Old and New World, 5 in Asia; in Malesia 4 species.


A poorly collected genus. The sterile flowers are different within the heads; the distal ones are larger, with rudimentary anthers at the top of the staminodes.


Taubert - in E. & P., Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3. 1891: 118
Benth. & Hook. f. - in Gen. Pl. 1865: 463
Windler - in Austral. J. Bot. 1966: 379
Hutch. - in Gen. Fl. Pl. 1964: 291
Benth. - in Trans. Linn. Soc. 1875: 383