Perennial rhizomatous herbs. Leaf bases convolute, forming an erect ‘false’ stem. Leaves oblong. Inflorescence racemose. Bracts small, ovate. Flowers hermaphrodite, zygomorphic, usually showy in terminal spike-like panicles. Outer perianth (calyx) 3, free. Inner perianth (corolla) tubular, adnate to the stamens. Stamens petaloid, brightly coloured, the fertile stamen with half the anther on one edge of the other; lower staminodes rolled backwards forming a sort of a labellum. Ovary inferior, 3-locular, placentation axile. Fruit a capsule. Seeds rounded, with a hard endosperm.