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Leaves usually basal, petioled or subpetioled linear to oblanceolate or lanceolate, many-nerved. Inflorescence a spike or raceme. Flowers solitary or fascicled in the axil of each bract. Ovary superior, sessile, ovoid to subglobose, 3-4-celled; Ovary wall rupturing early in the growth of the seeds which are therefore exposed during most of their development. Seeds black, globose or slightly elongate, with fleshy testa;


Asia-Temperate, Asia-Tropical, Japan present, N. Philippines present, North Malesia present
About 5 spp., in Japan, China, Indo-China and North Malesia: N. Philippines.


Some species are widely grown as ornamentals.


Hume 1961 – In: Baileya: 135
Krause 1930 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 15a: 376
Wang & Tang 1951 – In: Act. Phytotax.: 331
L. H. Bailey 1929 – In: Gent. Herb.: 3