or perennial herbs, fleshy, twining, sometimes conspicuously coloured, arising
from thick rhizomes or tubers. Leaves fleshy, simple, alternate, exstipulate.
Inflorescence spike, raceme or panicle. Flowers regular, bisexual, often
coloured. Bracts small, deciduous. Perianth 2-seriate, fleshy, persistent,
outer 2-lobes forming an involucre, inner 5-lobes united with the outer up to
middle, forming cup-like. Stamens 5, opposite to inner lobes of perianth,
epiphyllous, anthers bi-locular, versatile, opening by apical pores or
pore-like slits or lengthwise. Carpels 3, syncarpous, ovary superior,
1-locular, style terminal, 3 papillose stigmas. Fruit indehiscent, berry-like.
Seed 1, crustaceous testa.