Description: Perennial herbs with annual leaves and flowers, glabrous; corm depressed-globose, tunic of netted fibres.
Leaves mostly basal, distichous, sword-shaped; cauline leaves few, small. Scape erect, usually sparingly branched; spikes distichous or secund; spathe bracts short, subequal, membranous to subherbaceous, brownish; spathes 1-flowered.
Flowers zygomorphic or almost actinomorphic. Perianth tube narrow at base, funnel-shaped above, ± curved; lobes subequal, spreading, or 2-lipped with uppermost lobe largest and ± hooded. Stamens free; anthers exserted, regularly spaced around style or grouped to 1 side of it. Style filiform; branches entire, short, recurved, slightly expanded at apices.
Capsule depressed-globose, 3-lobed, rather woody; seeds few, lustrous.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 7 species, tropical & southern Africa. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown