Herbs perennial. Rhizome slender or thickened. Stem erect, simple. Leaves 4 to many, very rarely 3, in a terminal whorl, petiolate, lanceolate to ovate, with 3 main veins and anastomosing veinlets. Flowers bisexual, solitary, terminal, pedunculate. Tepals 3--8, in 2 whorls, free; outer ones green, rarely ± white, ovate to lanceolate; inner ones linear or occasionally absent. Stamens 8--24 or more, 2--8 × as many as tepals; filaments narrow, flat; anthers basifixed, often with convex connective apically. Ovary subglobose, 1-loculed with parietal placentation or 4--10-loculed with axile placentation. Style short; stigma lobes 4--10. Fruit a berry or a berrylike capsule, indehiscent or loculicidal, several to many seeded.