Perennial rhizomatous herbs, ± shrubby at the base with thick root stocks, stem simple or branched, branches erect or prostrate with erect leafy scapes. Leaves broad or narrow, usually with narrow revolute margin, sometimes ± undulate or crisp-crenate; ochrea tubular, thin, membranous, brownish, without cilia. Inflorescence spiciform racemes, spikes compact, uninterrupted, eglandular. Bract scarious, oval or lanceolate thin, membranaceous, open, neither tubular nor truncate, never ciliate. Perianth 4-5-parted, not enlarged in fruit. Stamens (4-) 5-8 (-10). Ovary usually trigonous; styles 2-3, long, free or connate at the base; stigma simple, very small. Nuts trigonous or biconvex.