Deciduous; bulb subterranean, subglobose or flattened, tunicated, often bulbilliferous; outer tunics usually pale and membranous, sometimes papery and dark brown or blackish and then often forming a fibrous neck. Cataphyll tubular, membranous. Leaves 1 to several but usually 2, usually contemporary with flowers but sometimes dying off, prostrate to suberect, usually lanceolate but sometimes terete, linear or heart-shaped, clasping at base, smooth or pustulate, rarely with simple or stellate trichomes, subsucculent or leathery, uniformly green or spotted or banded, especially on sheath. Inflorescence a few- to many-flowered spike, raceme or corymb, sometimes condensed and borne at ground level, upper flowers often vestigial; peduncle erect, rarely condensed, cylindrical or swollen and clavate, sometimes spotted or banded; bracts small, triangular, not spurred, sometimes becoming larger acropetally; bracteoles lacking; pedicels short to moderately long or vestigial. Flowers variously coloured, often with darker tips, often scented, often weakly zygomorphic, campanulate to urceolate or tubular, spreading, nodding or suberect; pedicels spreading or vestigial; tepals fused below into an oblique cup or short to long tube, subequal or inner longer than outer, the outer usually with a swelling or gibbosity near apex, oblong-lanceolate, erect to recurved, persistent; stamens suberect or more or less declinate, filaments fused to base of tepals, inserted in two series at different levels, the outer lower than the inner and sometimes shorter, included or exserted, filiform or clavate; anthers versatile; ovary subglobose; ovules several per locule; style terete, erect or declinate; stigma apical, penicillate. Capsule membranous or papery, ovoid, 3-angled or -winged; seeds subglobose, ovoid or pear-shaped, black, smooth or rugulose, testa tightly adhering.