Herbs, perennial, deciduous or evergreen. Rhizome sympodial, short or horizontally creeping, stout. Stems solitary or caespitose, glabrous, squamate at base. Leaves basal or cauline, simple or compound; petioles of basal leaves longer than those of cauline; leaflets ovate, ovate-lanceolate, or suborbicular, basally cordate, lateral lobes asymmetric, with outer basal lobe longer than inner, usually spiny on margin, apex acute or acuminate. Flowering stem leafless or with 1-4 leaves, opposite or rarely alternate. Inflorescence simple or compound, with terminal raceme or panicle, few or many flowered, glabrous or glandular. Flowers dimerous. Sepals 8 in 2 whorls; inner sepals petaloid. Petals 4, flat, or saccate and prolonged outward into nectariferous pouches or spurs shorter or longer than sepals. Stamens 4, opposite petals; filaments glabrous; anthers dehiscing by 2 oblong valves, curling upward; pollen grains elliptic, smooth, with 3 longitudinal furrows. Ovary with parietal placentation; ovules 6-15; style slender; stigma slightly dilated. Capsule loculicidal. Seeds with conspicuous fleshy aril. 2n = 12.
'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.