Herbs, perennial, from tunicate, ovoid bulbs; tunic brown, dry, brittle, papery. Stems simple or branched. Leaves few, basal larger; blade pleated, linear-lanceolate. Inflorescences rhipidiate, few-flowered; spathes green, unequal, outer shorter than inner, apex acute. Flowers short-lived, ± nodding [sometimes drooping], actinomorphic; tepals spreading, distinct, blue to purple, clawed, unequal, outer whorl larger than [± equaling] inner, claw surface sometimes folded or pinched basally forming lobes that partly obscure nectary zone, often with band of nectar-bearing hairs; stamens closely appressed to style; filaments distinct [occasionally connate], usually weak, unable to support anthers; anthers fused lightly to style, fiddle-shaped; pollen sacs marginal, connective visible; style slender proximally, gradually widening and branched distally; branches fairly deeply divided into 2 recurved arms, arching over or between anthers, filiform, apically stigmatic. Capsules ovoid to oblong, cartilaginous, apex truncate. Seeds many, irregularly globose; seed coat brown. x = 7.
North America (incl. Mexico), Central America, tropical South America.
Species ca. 5 (1 in the flora).