Perennial herbs with bulbs, bulb-like corms or rhizomes. Leaves simple, basally concentrated, spirally set or distichous. Inflorescence usually umbellate and with 1, 2 or more membranous spathes. Flowers generally bisexual, actinomorphic or sometimes zygomorphic. Tepals in 2 whorls, free or often connate, forming a campanulate or tubular perianth with erect, spreading or sometimes recurved lobes. Stamens usually 6 or sometimes 5 with several staminodes, free, inserted at the base of the tepals or in the perigone-tube; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary superior, 3-celled, with axillary placentas, septal nectary grooves present on the ovary; ovules 2 to several per locule. Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Seeds often half-ovoid, half-globose or tetrahedral and triangular in transection, sometimes ovoid or ellipsoid to subglobose and rounded in transection. Distribution — As circumscribed by Dahlgren et al. (1985) this segregate from Liliaceae s. 1. comprises the South African Agapanthoideae, the mainly Chilean Gilliesioideae, and Allioideae with the neogeic tribe Brodiaeeae and the nearly cosmopolitan Allieae.