Plants possibly perennial, mycotrophic, not green. Rhizomes present. Roots filiform. Stems sometimes branched. Leaves cauline, white or purplish, scalelike to lanceolate. Inflorescences 2–6-flowered racemose cymes or flowers solitary; floral bracts not imbricate. Flowers erect to nodding, neither ribbed nor winged; perianth persistent and rolled in fruit; annulus absent; stamens 3, proximal to inner perianth lobes, sessile; ovary 1-locular; placentation parietal; pedicel 4–12(–18) mm. Capsules broadly ellipsoid; dehiscence longitudinal by valves, leaving 3 placental ribs.
Tropical North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.