Description: Annual or biennial herbs with fibrous roots.
Leaves basal, linear, terete or 3-angled, glabrous, broadened to 15 mm wide at base, margins ciliolate.
Scape hollow; inflorescence a simple panicle [or raceme]. Tepals spreading, elliptic, 1-veined, shallow basal cup persistent around fruit. Stamens shorter than tepals; filaments broadened at base and just below anthers; anthers dark red-brown to gold-brown, dorsifixed. Ovules 1 or 2 per loculus; style simple, ± equal to stamens; stigma shortly 3-lobed.
Capsule globose to broad-ovoid; seeds triquetrous, faces convex with 3 or 4 transverse ridges, wings absent.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 12 species, Mediterranean to western Asia. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).
Text by D. C. Godden