Tufted cormous perennial herbs. Roots fibrous to tuberous. Leaves basal, linear to subterete, pubescent, the basal sheaths often persisting as a papery or fibrous tunic around the corm. Flowers bisexual, solitary or in cymose racemes or panicles. Sepals and petals subequal, each 2 or 3, shortly united basally, yellow (in Victorian species); stamens as many as perianth lobes, anthers basifixed; ovary ovoid, style short, filiform, stigma bi- or tri-fid. Fruit a capsule dehiscing by a transverse rupture near apex; seeds sub-globose, more or less rostrate, shiny black to brown.
About 50 species, in Africa, Asia, America and Australia; 6 (all endemic) in Australia, 2 in Victoria.
Previously Hypoxis has been divided into two sections based on the presence or absence of hairs. Phylogenetic studies have shown that the glabrous taxa, Hypoxis section Ianthe (Baker) Benth. & J.D.Hook. (i.e. Hypoxis vaginata and H. glabella in Victoria) form a monophyletic group with Spiloxene Salisb., Pauridia, and Saniellia Hilliard & Burtt. As such, these taxa have been removed from Hypoxis and are now in the genus Pauridia. See note under Pauridia.