Description: Perennial herbs with fibrous roots or rhizome.
Leaves basal, dimorphous; inner leaves flat, linear, glabrous, margins smooth; outer leaves persisting as membranous sheaths.
Scape usually solid; infloresence a divaricately branched panicle. Tepals spreading, narrow-elliptic to elliptic, 1-veined. Stamens shorter than tepals; filaments broadened at base; anthers yellow to gold-brown, dorsifixed. Ovules 2–16 per loculus; style simple, filiform, ± equal to outer stamens; stigma capitate.
Capsule globose to ovoid; seeds tetrahedral, wings absent.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, Africa. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).
Text by D. C. Godden