Terrestrial fleshy herb, up to c. 50 cm high. Stem tuberous or rhizomatous. Leaves basal, sheathing, deciduous; lamina hastate to sagittate, venation reticulate, primary veins joining a conspicuous submarginal vein. Inflorescence borne on an axis shorter than to longer than leaves; bract colour various, tubular in lower part, with margins overlapping, limb conspicuous, erect and boat-shaped to spreading and revolute, usually deciduous after anthesis; inflorescence axis shorter than to longer than bract, usually cream or yellow; female flowers on lower portion of axis, separated from male flowers by a short zone of neuter organs, often with a second zone of neuter organs above male flowers, axis terminating in a sterile appendix. Flowers with perianth absent. Fruit an orange-red berry.
25 species indigenous from western Asia to Macaronesia, northern Africa and Europe, 1 naturalised in Victoria.