Perennial herb, leaves and flowers annual, dormant in summer; corm tuber-like, outer layers naked or membranous. Leaves basal and cauline, few to numerous, loosely equitant, linear. Inflorescence with scape erect, terete, leafy, branched, with 2–6 clusters of flowers. Flowers dull-coloured, soon withering, very shortly pedicellate, malodorous, perianth parts subequal, abruptly narrowed basally, spreading distally; stamens united; anthers versatile, appressed to style branches; ovary narrow, enclosed by primary bracts; style erect, filiform, with 3 flattened branches distally, stigmas minute, exceeded by 2 broad, fringed lobes. Capsule globose to club-shaped; seeds numerous, angular.
10 species, widespread in southern Africa; 1 species naturalised in Australia.