Stems solitary or clustered, usually rather small, sometimes short and subterranean. Leaves 5-28, palmate; leaf sheaths open and fibrous on margins; ocreas often present at sheath apex, rarely elongate and conspicuous; petioles normally spiny along margins, sometimes less so or unarmed; hastula present; blades usually strongly folded, circular in outline, split to base into several multi-fold, wedge-shaped segments or rarely undivided; apices of segments truncate, shallowly to deeply lobed, lobes longer on lateral segments; central segment occasionally bifid, central 1-3 segments sometimes borne on petiolules. Plants monoecious or rarely dioecious. Inflorescences borne among leaves and partly covered with swollen, tubular rachis bracts; first order branches 1 to several, each spicate or more often branched to 1 or 2 orders; flowers bisexual with 6 stamens and 3 carpels, stamens or carpels vestigial in dioecious species. Fruits variously colored, usually quite small, globose to ovoid, 1-seeded; endosperm homogeneous; germination remote; eophylls undivided, lanceolate.
'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.