Herbaceous climbers with tendrils, dioecious, with occasional bisexual flowers. Leaves 3-foliolate, or biternately compound, usually stipulate; leaflets lobed, toothed, or cut. Flowers irregular; in axillary racemes or panicles; peduncle with a pair of tendrils at summit or with abortive pedicels. Sepals 4, broadly imbricate, anterior and posterior ones larger. Petals 4, with petaloid appendages, each with a hairy, reflexed lobe near apex. Disc unilateral, of 2 glands between petals and stamens. Stamens 8; filaments unequal, free or connate at base, linear, hairy. Ovary 3-locular, sometimes 3-angled, sessile or stalked; with a single, axile ovule in each locule, sometimes villous; style short, 3-fid, or styles free. Fruit an inflated, membranous capsule. Seeds black, globose, with a white, ovate to reniform hilum. x = 11 (7, 10).
Species 12-20, predominantly tropical America; 4 in sthn Afr., Namibia, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.