Herbs perennial, rarely annual, glabrous. Rootstock usually short, woody. Stem alternate or dichotomously branched, green or glaucous, base with or without fibrous remnant sheaths. Leaves entire, petioles sheathing; blade membranous, herbaceous or coriaceous, usually with parallel venation, base usually tapering into petiole. Cauline leaves often sessile, clasping, auriculate or perfoliate. Inflorescence loose, umbels compound, terminal and lateral; bracts several, conspicuous, often similar to uppermost leaves; rays few to many; bracteoles several, conspicuous. Calyx teeth obsolete. Petals yellow, greenish-yellow, tinged purple or purple, oblong to orbicular, apex narrowly inflexed. Stylopodium conic, low-conic or discoid; styles short, often reflexed. Fruit oblong to ovoid-oblong or ellipsoid, slightly laterally compressed, mericarps subpentagonal (rarely rounded) in cross section; ribs 5, filiform, prominent or obscure; vittae 1–3(–6) in each furrow, 2–6(–8) on commissure, sometimes obscure. Seed face plane. Carpophore 2-cleft to base.
"Fr orbicular to ellipsoid, slightly flattened laterally, somewhat constricted at the commissure, ribs narrow, scarcely prominent; oil-tubes obscure or none; carpophore bifid to the base; umbels compound, terminal and lateral; rays few; umbellets small, the involucel of conspicuously foliaceous bractlets exceeding the short pedicels; sep obsolete; pet yellow or greenish- yellow; stylopodium depressed-conic; plants with simple entire lvs. 150, N. Hemisphere."