Large tufted herbs; roots fibrous or somewhat fleshy. Leaves linear, tough, margins entire. Inflorescence a scapose terminal raceme. Flowers numerous, exceeding the small subtending bracts; perianth segments united into a floral tube; stamens 6, exserted or equalling perianth tube, free; ovary superior; style elongate, filiform, stigma minutely capitate. Fruit a loculicidal capsule; seeds triquetrous to flattened.
About 70 species in Africa, Madagascar and Arabia, widely cultivated as ornamentals; 1 naturalised in Australia and Victoria.