Perennial herbs with bulbs, tubers or rhizomes. Leaves simple, with parallel nerves. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, in cymes, spikes or umbels (in Amaryllidoideae), or flowers solitary, bracteate and often with one or few spathes (in Amaryllidoideae). Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, sometimes marcescent. Tepals in 2 whorls, free or united into a tube, sometimes with a conspicuous corona. Stamens 6, free or sometimes united into a false corona, often inserted at the mouth of the perigone-tube; anthers basifixed, dorsifixed or medifixed, often versatile. Ovary inferior, 3-celled with axillary placentas; ovules 1 to numerous per cell. Fruit capsular, dehiscing either loculicidally or irregularly, or fruit a berry. Seeds globose or flattened, sometimes winged. Distribution — Cosmopolitan, with c. 80 genera and around 1000 species. In Malesia only 6 genera are indigenous or naturalized, but many others are cultivated in botanic and private gardens (see the list on p. 371).