Perennial evergreen herb, leaves and flowers annual; corm compressed-globose, outer layers of fibrous, new corms forming above the previous years’ corm. Leaves several, mainly basal, linear, flat, tough, without prominent midvein. Inflorescence with scape erect, terete, branching in upper part; branches wiry, usually pendulous, terminating in a spike of flowers; primary bracts with prominent midvein and parallel lateral veins, dry and membranous, often lacerated; the basal (‘outer’) bracts entire; the distal (‘inner’) bracts bifid. Flowers pendulous, actinomorphic; perianth tube straight, cylindric basally, campanulate above, lobes erect to spreading, ± equal, each with a diamond shaped mark basally on the inner surface; stamens symmetrically arranged around the style and initially forming a column around it, anthers dorsifixed to basifixed; style exceeding stamens, 3-branched, each branch entire, recurved, thread-like to cuneate. Capsules subglobose, 3-lobed; seeds globose to compressed-globose, smooth.
About 44 species, in southern and eastern Africa; 2 species naturalised in Australia, 1 in Victoria.