This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Bulbous or rarely fibrous herbs, sometimes caulescent. Leaves ensiform or linear. Flowers solitary, umbellate or paniculate, frequently emerging from spathaceous bracts. Perianth superior, 6-lobed, variously formed, and often furnished with a corona at the top of the tube. Stamens 6, inserted upon the perianth and frequently united into a cup, or with intermediate staminodes. Fruit capsular and 3-celled, dehiscing loculicidally, or baccate and 1- to 3-seeded. Seeds albuminous. This order numbers about 70 genera and 400 species, found in nearly all temperate and tropical regions.