Shrubs or shrublets with nodose jointed branchlets. Leaves decussate or sometimes appearing subverticillate where nodes are congested, pinnately nerved, usually coarsely serrate, serrations thickened at apex; Flowers essentially bisexual, in lax terminal spikes with c. 3 main branches, each with up to c. 12 flowers; Ovary ovoid, 1-locular; Seed pendulous with membranous testa;
Asia-Temperate, Asia-Tropical: Borneo present; India present; Jawa (Jawa present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present); Sumatera (Sumatera present), Burma present, Ceylon present, Japan present, Lesser Sunda Is present
Two species in Ceylon, India, Burma, Indochina to China and Japan, one of which in Malesia: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Lesser Sunda Is., Philippines, New Guinea. A map (now out of date) was published by .
It is logical to treat the flowers as bisexual flowers since the two staminal traces usually join with the median carpel traces although flower is really a vague term for combinations of structures of different origins; variants exist, however, which have a single staminal trace free at least to below the bract.
There is no doubt that SWAMY is correct in maintaining this genus, well-characterised by the vessel-less xylem, characteristically shaped male part of the flower with 2 locelli and with 1 or 2 traces rather than 3, presence of stone cells, dorsal carpel traces, characteristic pollen, nearly invariably red fruits etc. Confusion has occurred in the nomenclature of the species occurring in S. India and Ceylon (VERDCOURT, 1984).