Herbs, perennial, rhizomatous, glabrous. Stems scapelike, sometimes with 1–3 leaves near base, smooth. Leaves equitant, 2-ranked; blade linear. Inflorescences terminal, racemose, open to dense, sometimes spikelike, bracteate, sometimes bracteolate, elongating in fruit; bracteoles connate in epicalyx. Flowers inserted singly; tepals persistent, 6, in 2 somewhat dissimilar series, distinct; stamens 6; filaments dilated basally, strongly flattened (except T. coccinea); anthers basifixed, 2-locular, introrse, without appendages; ovary superior, stipitate, apocarpous basally, glabrous; intercarpellary nectary present; styles 3. Fruits capsular, broadly ellipsoid to globose or obovoid, chartaceous, glabrous, dehiscence septicidal, then adaxially loculicidal. Seeds reddish brown, without appendages. x = 15.
North America, Eurasia.
Species 7 or 8 (3 in the flora).
Following the example of J. G. Baker (1879) and R. R. Gates (1918), this treatment of Tofieldia excludes the species of sect. Triantha, which is recognized instead as a distinct genus; see J. G. Packer (1993). Tofieldia sometimes has been treated very broadly, to include not only Triantha but also Pleea (W. B. Zomlefer 1997c).