Herbs, perennial, with stout rootstock, hermaphroditic or perhaps andromonoecious, unarmed. Stem simple, with scales at base. Leaves palmately compound, in whorls of 3-5; leaflets entire to serrate or dentate or pinnately lobed. Inflorescence a solitary, terminal umbel. Pedicels articulate below bisexual flowers, inarticulate below male flowers. Calyx shortly 5-toothed. Petals 5, imbricate. Stamens 5. Ovary 2- or 3(-5)-carpellate; styles distinct or basally united, as many as carpels. Fruit a drupe, globose, sometimes slightly compressed or triangular. Seeds laterally compressed, as many as carpels; endosperm smooth.
"Pet and stamens each 5; carpels (1)2 or 3, the styles distinct; fr a small, trigonous or flattened, berry-like drupe with 2 or 3 pyrenes; perennial herbs, the unbranched stems arising from a deep-seated, thickened or tuber-like root, bearing a single whorl of once palmately compound lvs (these usually 3), and one long-peduncled terminal umbel of white or greenish fls. 8, Asia and N. Amer."