Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, rhizomatous. Aerial stems present or absent. Leaves distichous, usually large; petiole sheathing at base, apex with a swollen pulvinus; leaf blade pinnately veined, lateral veins parallel, slightly S-shaped. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, borne on leafy shoots or occasionally on separate, leafless shoots from rhizomes, compound, headlike, spicate, or diffuse and much branched, bracteate; bracts each subtending a pair of flowers or a cincinus of paired flowers. Flowers bisexual, asymmetric, paired or rarely borne singly. Sepals 3, free. Corolla lobes 3, often slightly unequal, basally connate into a tube. Staminodes and stamen in 2 whorls: outer whorl with 1 or 2 petaloid staminodes, rarely absent; inner whorl with 1 hooded (cucullate) staminode enclosing terminal portion of pistil at anthesis and bearing a lateral appendage (trigger), 1 thickened and fleshy (callose) staminode, and 1 fertile stamen narrowly petaloid laterally; anther 1-loculed. Ovary inferior, 3-loculed, 1--3 locules fertile; ovules 1 per locule. Style cylindric, adnate to inside of corolla and staminode tube, free portion curved after explosive forward movement (tripping) when released Seeds 1--3, hard, usually arillate.from hooded staminode; stigma scoop-shaped or blunted and 3-cleft. Fruit a capsule, loculicidal, rarely indehiscent or berrylike.
Wu Te-lin & Chen Sen-jen. 1981. Marantaceae. In: Wu Te-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 16(2): 158--169.
Thirty-one genera and ca. 525 species: pantropical but ca. 80% in America, absent from Australia; four genera (one introduced) and eight species (two endemic, one introduced) in China.
(Authors: Wu Delin (吴德邻 Wu Te-lin); Helen Kennedy)