Perennial, rhizomatous herbs with ternate, compound leaves; leaflets usually ovate-cordate, serrate; petiole and petiolule whitish or pale. Inflorescence panicled, usually terminal. Flowers 2-merous, white or coloured, protogynous. Perianth segments 8, outer 4 sepaloid, inner 4 petaloid with the innermost whorl curiously shoe-shaped (proximal portion flat and distal end tubular bearing nectaries in it). Stamens 4; anther valves curling backwards over the stigma. Capsule 1-celled, dry, dehiscing by 2, unequal decidous valves leaving the seeds attached to the placenta; seeds usually several, 2-seriate, with a fleshy or membranous aril.