herbs, with rhizomes, bulbs or
corms, stems solitary or fascicled,
sometimes short or absent. Leaves alternate, often 2-ranked, parallel veined,
base sheathing. Inflorescence monochasial cymes, sometimes spikes or reduced to
a flower. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic to distinctly zygomorphic, showy.
Perianth 6, petaloid, two-whorled, free
or united below. Stamens 3, adnate to outer perianth lobes, filaments free or
connate partially, anthers 2-locular, dehiscence extrorsely or laterally by
longitudinal slits. Pistil syncarpous, ovary inferior (or superior), 3-celled,
placentation axile, style entire or trifid, stigmas 3 or 6, ovules few to
many. Fruit loculicidal capsule. Seeds
with or without aril and wings.