Leaves rosulate or rarely distichous, linear, tapering gradually to the apex, usually keeled beneath and channeled above; margin smooth to serrulate
Inflorescence a dense or lax subspicate raceme on a stout erect simple (rarely abnormally branched) terminal peduncle; bracts scarious, persistent; pedicels usually shorter than the bracts or almost absent, articulated at the apex; flowers spreading or pendulous, white, yellow, brownish or various shades of red, often redder towards the apex of the inflorescence so giving a bicolourous appearance tothe whole
Perianth-tube campanulate to cylindrical; lobes 6, short, subequal
Stamens 6, usually as long as or longer than the perianth, the 3 opposite the inner segments longer than the others
Ovary sessile, ovoid, with many ovules per locule; style subequal to the stamens and usually exserted; stigma minute, capitate
Capsule subglobose to triquetrous
Seeds somewhat flattened, acutely 3-angled or winged; endosperm fleshy.
Perennial herbs, caespitose or solitary from a thick simple or branched rhizome, rarely with a stem
Rhizome horizontal, with erect slender or corm-like branches; the nodes distant in solitary plants and closely spaced in caespitose (clump-forming) plants.
Perennial herbs, solitary or caespitose, mostly acaulescent.
Leaves rosulate to subdistichous, linear, usually keeled; margins entire or serrulate.
Stamens 6, as long as or longer than the perianth at anthesis, the 3 inner stamens longer than the outer.
Ovary sessile, ovoid, 3-locular; ovules many in each locule; style filiform, ± equalling the stamens at anthesis, usually becoming exserted; stigma minute, capitate.
Inflorescence a dense or lax subspicate raceme of usually numerous flowers on a simple (rarely branched), erect, leafless, stout or somewhat slender, terminal peduncle (scape); peduncle occasionally with 1–3 sterile bracts below the inflorescence; racemes usually bicolorous and ± strongly red at the apex, grading through various shades of red to yellow or yellow-green or white beneath, or sometimes the racemes concolorous and ± uniformly red or greenish-yellow; bracts persistent, scarious, longer than the pedicels; pedicels short or almost absent, lengthening in fruit, articulated at the apex; flowers patent or pendulous, usually with a red pigment conspicuous in the buds, young flowers and flower-tips, this pigment usually ± quickly fading in the maturing flowers.
Perianth segments ± fused; tube campanulate to cylindrical or somewhat funnel-shaped; lobes unequal.
Capsule globose to ovoid, triquetrous.