Climbing, or less often erect, glabrous herbs. Leaves cauline, alternate, opposite or in whorls of 3 (4), flat, with many veins and a strong midrib, sessile, entire, lanceolate to ovate, slightly amplexicaul, obtuse at the base, narrowing gradually to an apical, coiled tendril (sometimes lacking tendrils in erect forms); Ovary superior, sessile, oblong-ovoid to oblong-obovoid, 3-celled, 1 cell slightly shorter than the other 2; Capsule coriaceous, septicidal;
Asia-Tropical: India present, Burma present, Madagascar present, SE. Asia present, Tropical and southern Africa present, West Malesia present
Widespread in tropical and southern Africa, Madagascar, India, Burma and SE. Asia, as far as West Malesia.
Stated by Field (1971, 1972) to be monotypic. In Malesia only a single indigenous species has ever been recognized, although other species have been described elsewhere.