Perennial fibrous-rooted rhizomatous shrubs or vines. Leaves simple, entire, ovate, stalked, along the stem, reticulate-veined. Flowers radially symmetrical, bisexual, solitary in leaf axils, subtended by multiple bracts. Tepals 3+3, free; individual flower stalks not articulated. Stamens 6, fused. Ovary superior, 3-chambered with numerous ovules. Fruit a many-seeded berry. Seeds pale yellow.
The most closely related families are Liliaceae and Smilacaceae.
2 monotypic genera from cool temperate S America.
Woody shrubs or climbers with stalked, reticulate-veined leaves, relatively large, solitary, non-articulated flowers with multiple bracts per flower and berries with yellow seeds.
Source: (2005). Philesiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.