Chlorophyll-less endoparasites with fungus-like endophytic body. Leaves scale-like, decussate. Flowers solitary, terminal, bisexual. Stamens numerous, completely connate into a tube, below the sterile apical part with several vertical series of rings of c. 10 anthers each; pollen dicolpate, with reduced ectexine. Ovary superior, 1-locular, ovules numerous, anatropous, unitegmic. Fruit a slightly woody, berry-like capsule, horizontally dehiscing. Seeds sticky, testa hard.
Asia: present Asia-Temperate:, China South-Central (Yunnan present) Asia-Tropical:, Assam (Assam present); Borneo present; East Himalaya (Bhutan present); New Guinea present; Sumatera (Sumatera present) Chiapas (Mexico) to Alta Vera Paz (Guatemala) and Antioquia (W Colombia): present Japan to Taiwan: present
Two species, one in Asia, from Japan to Taiwan, Yunnan, Bhutan, Assam, Indo-China, and Borneo ,Sumatra and New Guinea; a second, very closely related species (?) from Chiapas (Mexico) to Alta Vera Paz (Guatemala) and Antioquia (W Colombia).
The Asian species parasitic on roots of Fagaceae, probably the American species too. Pollination by insects and birds, seed dispersal most likely by birds and small mammals.
According to and , the chromosome number is n = 20. About the orthography of the genus name, see Meijer & Veldkamp, l.c.
Meijer - in Kubitzki, Fam. & Gen. Vase. Pl. 2. 1993: 560
Harms - in Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 16b. 1935: 274
Yamamoto - in Bot. Mag. Tokyo. 1936: 539
Watanabe - in J. Jap. Bot. 1937: 154
Meijer & Veldkamp - in Blumea. 1993
Jochems - in Rec. Trav. Bot. Néerl. 1928: 203
Matuda - in Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 1947: 133