Perennial lianas from sympodial rhizomes; aerial shoots solid, glabrous. Leaves alternate, distichously arranged, glabrous, rolled in bud; sheath closed, distally with 2 lateral lobes; lamina lanceolate-acuminate constricted at base, distal part prolonged into a tendril. Inflorescence terminal, paniculiform. Flowers usually hermaphroditic, trimerous, (sub-)sessile, without prophylls. Tepals in 2 whorls, whitish, membranous, subequal, persistent, their bases shortly fused and somewhat saccate. Stamens in 2 whorls, occasionally reduced to staminodia; filaments very short, anthers linear, basifixed tetrasporangiate, laterally dehiscent by longitudinal slits. Ovary syncarpous, superior, 3-locular with axile placentation; style short, divided into 3 spreading, linear stigmatic branches with papillose upper surface; ovules solitary in each locule, pendulous, bitegmic, almost atropous, crassinucellate. Fruit drupaceous, red or black, 1(-2)-seeded; seeds with abundant starchy endosperm, embryo minute, lenticular.
A monogeneric family with about four species, widespread throughout the Palaeotropis including Australia and the Pacific Islands.
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