Perennial herbs with rhizomes; these yellow inside. Roots fibrous, sometimes swollen, occasionally with tubers. Leaves in a basal rosette, rarely on a short woody stem, the plants occasionally flowering before the leaves. Peduncle mostly naked, occasionally with a few bracts below the inflorescence. Inflorescence simple or paniculate. Flowers subtended by a single bract. Flowers bisexual, hypogynous, actinomorphic; perianth segments in 2 whorls of 3, white, greenish- or yellowish-white, pink yellow or red. Stamens also in 2 whorls of 3. Ovary 3-locular. Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Seeds brown or greyish-black, dull, enveloped by a thin aril.