Herbs, perennial, deciduous, to 12 dm, glabrous or pubescent. Rhizomes formed of distinct annual increments, producing 1 leaf or flowering shoot per year. Aerial stems present. Leaves simple, 2-parted. Leaf blade 5-47 cm, parts lobed [or not], margins prominently dentate; venation palmate. Leaves of nonflowering shoot 1, basal; petiole centrally attached, erect, stemlike; blade orbiculate, peltate. Leaves of flowering shoots 2, cauline, alternate; petiole attached to blade near margin; blade reniform-orbiculate, peltate. Inflorescences terminal, cymose or umbelliform. Flowers 3-merous, 8-20 mm; bracteoles caducous, 2, scalelike; sepals falling early, 6, white or pale green; petals 6, white; stamens 6; anthers dehiscing by 2 apically hinged flaps; pollen exine spinose; ovaries ellipsoid; placentation appearing basal; style central. Fruits berries, dark blue, ellipsoid, glaucous. Seeds 2-11, red; aril absent. x = 6.
Herbs, perennial, with thickened creeping rhizomes and coarse fibrous roots; rhizomes formed of distinct annual increments, producing stout 2(or 3)-leaved stem separating at base in autumn along marked articulation, leaving broad bowl-like excavation on rhizome. Leaves alternate; blade petiolate and peltate [except in Diphylleia grayi F. Schmidt, in which upper leaf sessile or subsessile and attached at sinus], transversely oblong to reniform-orbicular, pubescent or sparsely pubescent with unicellular hairs, palmately veined with main veins connected by secondary reticulate veins, 2-cleft with divisions shallowly to coarsely lobed and prominently dentate. Inflorescence terminal, pedunculate, usually a many-flowered cyme or umbel; branches glabrous or pubescent. Flowers pedicellate, actinomorphic, 3-merous. Sepals 6 in 2(or 3) whorls, white or pale green. Petals 6 in 2 whorls, white. Stamens opposite petals; anthers basifixed, longitudinally dehiscent; thecae separating from connective and ultimately attached only at apex; pollen conspicuously spiny. Ovary ellipsoid, 1-loculed; placentation parietal near base of ovary; ovules 2-11, anatropous; style absent or short and thickened; stigma peltate, cristate. Fruit berries, dark blue or purplish black, glaucous, globose or broadly ellipsoid. Seeds reddish brown, oblong to ovoid. n = 6.
"Sep 6, biseriate, ovate-elliptic; stamens 6; ovary ellipsoid; stigma sessile; fr a few-seeded berry; smooth perennial herbs with a thick rhizome, the flowering stem with 2 alternate lvs peltate near the margin, the basal lvs scattered, erect, with centrally peltate blade; fls in a pedunculate cyme, white. 3, the other 2 in e. Asia."
|[Greek dis, twice, and phyllon, leaf]|