Annual herbs, saprophytic, lacking chlorophyll. Adventitious roots arising from rhizome. Imbricating basal leaves clustered at apex of rhizome. Stems erect, usually unbranched, with few alternate, ovate, triangular or lanceolate, sessile scales sometimes containing suppressed buds. Inflorescence a lax or congested, branched cyme, terminal, few-many-flowered, rarely reduced to one flower; cyme branches up to 7 cm. long. Flowers whitish, actinomorphic, small, sessile or pedicellate. Perianth tubular, not winged, circumscissile a little below the base of the tepals after flowering; 3 outer tepals often with lateral lobing, triangular-ovate, broad, larger than the 3 inner tepals, which are very small or absent. Stamens 3, inserted near the mouth of the perianth-tube below the inner tepals; anthers sessile, oblong to globose, dehiscing transversely; connective broad, short and thin, not appendiculate but sometimes apiculate. Ovary ovoid or globose, 1-locular, with 3 parietal placentas, each placenta having 2 apical globose glands; style entire or trifid, long or shortly lobed, slim, reaching insertion-point of stamens; upper part of style deciduous with the upper part of perianth; stigma terminal, sometimes producing long filiform tails. Capsule subglobose, ellipsoid or club-shaped, crowned by the persistent perianth-base, dehiscing apically or longitudinally. Seeds ovoid or subglobose, reticulate, rugose without appendages.
Perianth-tube elongated, not winged, circumscissile a short distance above the ovary; limb with the 3 outer lobes wide, induplicato-valvate, the 3 inner small or wanting. Anthers 3, subsessile near the throat of the perianth, with 4 globose cells. Ovary inferior, 1-celled; placentas 3 parietal, sometimes bifid. Ovules very numerous. Capsule globose, crowned by the persistent base of the perianth-tube. Seeds very small; testa inappendiculate. —Weak annual herbs, sometimes hyaline. Stem erect, usually simple. Leaves reduced to small scales. Flowers small in terminal, lax or congested cymes.
Enum. Pl. Jav. 1: 29 (1827); G.P. 3(2): 458 (1883); C.H. Wright in F.T.A. 7: 11 (1897); Jonker in Med. Bot. Mus. Rijksuniv. Utrecht 51: 168 (1938); H. Perrier in Fl. Madag. 48: 3 (1946); Hepper in F.W.TA, ed. 2, 3: 176 (1968)
Benth. et Hook. f. Gen. Pl. iii. 458.
Enum. Pl. Jav. 1: 29 (1827); F.T.A. 7: 11; Jonker, Monogr. Burmanniac. 168 (1938).