Rhizomatous herbs. Leaves distichous, sheathing stems. Flowers in terminal spike or thyrse, bisexual, irregular, 3-merous. Stamen 1. Staminodes 3; 2 of them short and narrow; the other broadened into a petaloid labellum. Ovary inferior 1 or 3-locular. Fruit a capsule or berry. Seeds with an aril. c. 46 gen., trop., mostly Indo-Malaysia