Perennials with creeping rhizomes. Basal leaves 1
or more, cauline leaves absent. Inflorescence terminal on leafy shoots or on
separate, leafless shoots arising directly from rhizomes, spikelike, ellipsoid
or spindle-shaped to subcylindric, bracts distichous, usually herbaceous.
Flower pairs 1-5 per bract. Calyx with sepals less than 1/3 as long as corolla
tube, membranous. Corolla more or less solid proximally, hollow distally, lobes
3, oblong, subequal. Outer staminodes 2, obovate, callose staminode not
petaloid at apex. Ovary often 2-loculed by abortion, style cylindric, stigma enlarged. Fruit ellipsoid, dehiscent. Seeds usually 2,
aril 2-lobed, reflexed.