herbs, often with orange to red sap, caulescent with fasciculate fibrous roots,
rounded tubes or short rhizomes, sometimes stoloniferous. Leaves radical,
alternate, linear or ensiform, sheathing at base, closely striately nerved.
Inflorescence a simple or compound cyme, raceme or panicle. Flowers bisexual,
actinomorphic, perianth 6, persistent, in 1-2 series, segments free or basally
connate into a tube. Stamens 3 or less commonly 6, distinct, anthers 2-celled,
basifixed, dehiscing vertically. Carpels
3, united, forming a compound, trilocular ovary, placentation axile, ovules
solitary-numerous, style 1, usually filiform, stigma simple or 3-notched. Fruit
a loculicidal, 3-valved capsule. Seeds solitary to numerous, embryo small.