Bulbous perennial herbs. Roots fibrous. Leaves annual, several, linear, basal. Inflorescence a scapose, terminal umbel, subtended by a boat-shaped spathe; flowers bisexual, pedicellate, campanulate, nodding; perianth segments free or united basally; stamens 6, inserted on a fleshy disc, filaments filiform, anthers dehiscing apically by pores; ovary inferior, 3-locular; ovules several per locule; style filiform, stigma minute, capitate. Fruit a capsule; seeds numerous, black.
10 species, from Europe, northern Africa and south-west Asia; 1 widely cultivated and naturalised in Australia.