Tufted perennial herbs. Roots with tubers. Leaves annual, linear, often with persistent fibrous base. Inflorescence a raceme or racemose panicle. Flowers bisexual, subtended by bracts, pedicels usually articulate, perianth segments free, subequal or the petals broader; stamens 6, filaments filiform, hairy or with papillate appendages, anthers basifixed; ovary superior, 3-locular, ovules up to 5 per locule; style filiform, stigma minute, capitate. Fruit a loculicidally dehiscent capsule, often encased by remnants of flower; seeds spherical to angular, black.
About 16 species in Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Madagascar Is.; 12 in Australia, 7 in Victoria.