Herbs, shrubs or plants arborescent. Caespitose or rhizomatous, often with thick woody stems (these can be underground in Xanthorrhoea). Roots sometimes succulent, or contractile, occasionally with velamen. Leaves distributed along stems, basal or in terminal tufts, spirally inserted or distichous, linear to lanceolate, often succulent, margins toothed or entire, parallel veins often obscure. Inflorescences usually a raceme, panicle or spike. Flowers, sessile or pedicelate, often articulated on the pedicel, bisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, perianth persistent or marcescent, often twisting at maturity; tepals 6, or 3 + 3, free or fused into a tube; stamens 3 + 3 or (rarely 3, with or without staminodia); filaments usually free, inserted below the ovary, or at tepal bases, usually dorsifixed (basifixed or peltate in subfamily Hemerocallidoideae and Eremurus), often ornamented; anthers usually dehiscing introrsely (and extrorsely Corynotheca) by slits. Gynoecium syncarpous, superior (half superior in Pasithea), 3-locular (rarely 1-locular), septal nectaries often present, style terminal, rarely gynobasic (Tricoryne), simple; stigma minute; ovules 1-many per locule. Fruit usually a capsule (often loculicidal), more rarely a berry (Lomatophyllum, Geitonoplesium and Dianella), nut or schizocarp (Tricoryne). Seeds black (due to phytomelan) or brownish grey, often arillate.