Plants annual, autotrophic, at least partly green. Rhizomes absent. Roots filiform. Stems usually unbranched, green. Leaves cauline, sometimes basal, green, purplish, or pale, scalelike to linear. Inflorescences 2–25-flowered cymes or flowers solitary; floral bracts sometimes appearing imbricate if internodes of cyme rachis are very short; pedicels 0–1 mm. Flowers erect, 3-ribbed to 3-winged; perianth persistent in fruit; annulus absent; stamens 3, proximal to inner perianth lobes, sessile; ovary 3-locular; placentation axile. Capsules obovoid to ellipsoid, transversely dehiscent.
Mostly tropical and subtropical, Western Hemisphere, Africa, Asia (China).
Species ca. 60 (3 in the flora).
|1||Flowers 3-ribbed or slightly 3-winged; inflorescences usually appearing capitate; inner perianth lobes usually less than 2/3 length of outer lobes.||Burmannia capitata|
|1||Flowers distinctly 3-winged; inflorescences loosely flowered cymes or flowers solitary; inner perianth lobes 2/3 to nearly equaling length of outer lobes.||> 2|
|2||Flowers bluish with perianth lobes paler, often cream-colored; basal leaves absent.||Burmannia biflora|
|2||Flowers yellow or greenish; basal leaves present.||Burmannia flava|