Pacif. Railr. Rep. 4(5): 150. 1857. 1857
Herbs, ± scapose, bulbose; bulbs deep seated, cormose, fibrously tunicate. Stems solitary, ± erect, flexuous. Leaves few, mostly basal, sheathing; blade linear, obscurely scabrous. Inflorescences maturing acropetally, usually paniculate (racemose in small plants), many-flowered; floral bracts usually 1, minute, with adaxial bractlet near middle. Flowers ascending; perianth tardily deciduous; tepals 6, connate basally into tube, limb lobes sharply reflexed, strongly veined; stamens 6, opposite tepals and inserted on throat, alternating with 6 short staminodia, the abaxial 1 opposite a tepal standing alone and opposing 5 aggregate adaxial tepals; filaments narrowly subulate; anthers basifixed, dehiscent through apical pores; pistil 1, compound, 3-lobed, 3-locular; ovary superior, globose, ovules 2 per locule, ascending, only 1 developing; style deciduous, 1, filiform, slightly 3-fid; stigmas 3; pedicels shorter than flowers. Fruits capsular, apex loculicidal, valvate; valves 3, obovoid. Seeds 3, obovoid; testa dark brown, close, thin, slightly rugose. x = 10.
R. M. T. Dahlgren et al. (1985) placed Odotostomum in the family Tecophilaeaceae, where it fits securely if one is recognizing the many possible segregate families of Liliaceae. With some reservation, these authors put superficially similar Californian genera such as Chlorogalum and Schoenolirion in Hyacinthaceae, which suggests that the relationship of these genera to Odontostomum is somewhat distant.