Herbs, perennial, from corms. Stems simple or branched. Leaves several, sometimes prostrate; blade plane, ensiform to oblong. Inflorescences spicate, spiral or secund, 2-5-flowered[-many-flowered]; bracts pale to light brown, irregularly streaked with dark brown, unequal, outer usually exceeding inner, scarious, acute or 3-cuspidate, inner apex 2-furcate to 2-cuspidate. Flowers odorless [fragrant], actinomorphic [zygomorphic]; perianth tube funnel-shaped, sometimes obliquely so; tepals spreading, connate into tube, variously colored, sometimes with strongly contrasting markings, subequal, outer whorl slightly larger than inner [unequal, dorsal tepal largest]; stamens symmetrically arranged [asymmetrical], unilateral; anthers straight [coiled]; style [unilateral, often arching over filaments] dividing into 3 short branches, apices spatulate [long, filiform]. Capsules globose to oblong, cartilaginous. Seeds 8-15 per locule, globose; seed coat light to dark brown, hard, shiny. x = 10.