Perennial herbs with short woody rhizome. Leaves basal or also cauline, setaceous, subulate or flat, sheaths long, those of the cauline leaves often tubular, dark; Inflorescence paniculate, narrow. Flowers usually 2, close together, the lower male or functionally male (gynaeceum abortive), the upper bisexual. Stamens 3,4, 6, or 8;
Asia-Tropical:, Borneo present Australasia: extra-tropical S. Africa: present
About 35 spp., most of them in extra-tropical S. Africa, a few in Australia, in Malesia 1 sp. in Borneo.