Perennial, rarely annual herbs. Stems
tufted, rootstock sympodial. Leaves variable, radical or few near base, linear,
flat or terete, or reduced to sheaths. Inflorescence terminal or subterminal on
scape-like stems, with flowers arranged in cymes of various types, commonly
monochasial, usually with 1-2 bracteoles. Flowers small, usually clustered,
mostly sessile. Perianth of 6 segments, glumaceous, equal, or inner 3 smaller.
Stamens 3-6, free or somewhat connate, filaments linear, anthers erect. Ovary
3-locular, sessile, style short, stigma brushlike. Fruit a capsule, 3-valved.
Seeds minute, shallowly ribbed.