Description: Perennial evergreen herbs; rhizome woody.
Leaves several, basal, distichous, equitant, erect or in flattened fan; cauline leaves absent or few. Scape compressed or subterete, branched; inflorescence cymose or paniculate; spathes >2-flowered, flowers sessile or pedicellate; lower spathe bracts ± leathery, scarious or papery, upper and inner bracts membranous.
Flowers actinomorphic. Perianth tube short; tepals equal or unequal, spreading, twisting spirally after flowering. Stamens exserted, spreading; filaments free. Style filiform, unbranched or occasionally with 3 short, minutely crested lobes.
Capsule oblong or ± cylindrical; seeds numerous, globose or angled.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, southern & tropical Africa. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
|One species in NSW: Aristea ecklonii|