Herbs, perennial, scapose, from bulbs. Bulbs in general appearance very similar to some species of Allium, without alliaceous odor; outer coats membranous. Leaves usually present at flowering time, basal, imbricate, sheathing basally; blade filiform to linear. Inflorescences umbellate, subtended by spathe bracts; bracts 2, membranous. Flowers fastigiate, withering-persistent; tepals 6, 2-whorled, connate proximal 1/3 , 1-veined, subequal; stamens 6, adnate to tepal bases, included; filaments distinct, ± dilated basally, subulate and entire apically; anthers dorsifixed, oblong, introse; ovary superior, sessile, 3-locular; ovules several(-12); style filiform; stigma terminal, small. Fruits capsular, 3-lobed, membranous, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds black, angled [compressed or almost flat]. All species of Nothoscordum are native to the Americas. Nothoscordum gracile has become naturalized in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia; it spreads rapidly by seeds and bulblets.
Much like Allium, but inodorous; fls perfect; tep 6, all alike; stamens 6; filaments slender, adnate to the base of the tep and half as long; anthers linear, introrse, versatile; ovary shallowly 3-lobed, with 6-10 ovules per locule; style straight, slender; stigmas 3, minute; fr loculicidal; perennial herbs from a coated bulb, with basal linear lvs, an erect scape, and a terminal determinate umbel subtended by 2 membranous bracts. 35, New World.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.