Perennial herbs. Rhizome fleshy, slender or thick, erect-creeping, with scaly or foliage radical leaves. Scaly radical leaves triangular or suborbicular, membranous, brown. Flowering stems arising from the axils of the scaly leaves, simple, annual, deciduous or marcescent, few to many. Cauline leaves alternate, usually sessile, simple, fleshy, often glaucous. Inflorescence terminal, usually cymose rarely racemose, simple or compound cyme, sometimes reduced to a solitary flower, mostly bracteate. Flowers pedicellate or sessile, 4-6-merous, bisexual or unisexual, then plant dioecious. Calyx lobes fleshy, united at the base. Corolla polypetalous, longer than the calyx, red or purplish red, white, yellow, greenish-yellow. Stamens twice as many as petals, in two whorls; stamens absent in female flowers. Nectar scales oblong, linear, squarish. Carpels superior or semi-inferior, basally syncarpic, ovary sessile, orthocarpic, style slender, marginal placentation, pistillodes present in male flowers, ovules anatropous, few-many. Follicles few to many-seeded, brown, longitudinally striae.