Pugionella Salisb.: 128 (1866). Hymenetron Salisb.: 128 (1866). Stylago Salisb.: 127 (1866). Gemmaria Salisb.: 127 (1866); Muller-Doblies: 29 (1985). Bokkeveldia D. & U.Mull.-Doblies: 27 (1985). Tedingea D. & U.Mull.-Doblies: 45 (1985).
Deciduous bulbous herbs. Bulb 10-50 mm in diameter; outer tunics parchment- to felt-like, if torn producing extensible fibres. Leaves 2-6, usually present after flowering, distichous, sometimes spreading laterally into a fan, filiform to lorate or elliptic, erect or appressed to the ground, glabrous or pubescent. Inflorescence up to 30-flowered, in a compact or hemispherical head, 15-100 mm in diameter; scape flexuose or stiff, rarely spirally twisted, solid, 30-480 mm long, glabrous to shortly pubescent, persisting or abscissing at ground level in fruit; spathe valves 2, narrowly lanceolate, membranous. Flowers regular, clustered and pendulous or widely spreading, varying from funnel-shaped to stellate, white to pink or rarely lemon-yellow; pedicels as long or distinctly longer than perigone, stiff or lax. Tepals free to base, plane or rarely crisped. Stamens erect to spreading, adnate to style at base only or up to the proximal third, sometimes adnate proximally to tepals, equal; filaments separate from each other or fused into a tube for up to half their length, usually thickened at base, sometimes toothed; anthers dorsifixed to subcentrifixed; pollen bisulculate with spinulose exine. Ovary subglobose, glabrous or rarely minutely pubescent; ovules up to 9 per locule, unitegmic; style erect, either 3-winged or swollen, ranging from conoidal to discoid or ovoid at base, slender distally; stigma trifid. Capsule small, subglobose, loculicidal, papery. Seeds fleshy, ovoid, 2-4 mm in diameter, reddish green; testa stomatose; integument and embryo green. x = 10 (11).
Species +/- 23, endemic to sthn Afr., most diverse in the winter-rainfall region in Namibia, Northern Cape and Western Cape, with 2 species in semi-arid regions of the S Free State and Eastern Cape.