Plants herbs, perennial, scapose, acaulescent; taprooted, rootstocks branched, woody. Leaves in basal rosettes, sessile; blade linear to linear-spatulate [lanceolate], narrowed or straight to base, margins entire. Scapes glabrous or densely pubescent, sometimes rugose, enclosed by tubular leafless sheath at apex. Inflorescences solitary, apical, dense hemispheric heads of scorpioid cymes, each surrounded by involucre of scarious bracts. Pedicels absent or present (short). Flowers monomorphic or dimorphic (in pollen and stigma characteristics); calyx 10-ribbed, funnel-shaped; tube usually pubescent on ribs only or all around, rarely glabrous, limbs membranaceous, awned or not; petals slightly connate basally, white to deep purple; filaments adnate to base of corolla; anthers included; styles 5, free, hairy proximally; stigmas linear, papillate or smooth. Fruits dry, enclosed in persistent calyces, dehiscing transversely. x= 9.