Herbs perennial. Rhizomes robust, densely covered with basal remnants of old petioles and leaves. Leaves many, basal, 1 or 2 × ternately compound; petiole long, basally sheathed; leaf blade papery. Scapes 1--8, erect, usually ± as long as leaves; bracts 2, usually opposite, basally sheathed; sheath broad, membranous. Flowers terminal, solitary, actinomorphic, bisexual. Sepals 5, petaloid. Petals 5, yellow, much shorter than sepals, basally pouchlike. Stamens numerous; filaments filiform, sometimes basally slightly dilated; anthers yellow, ellipsoid. Pistils 5--(8); ovary 2 × as long as style; ovules many, in 2 series. Follicles erect or slightly spreading, surface conspicuously striate-reticulate; persistent styles ca. 3 × shorter than follicle. Seeds smooth or densely rugose.
Five species: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, N India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, N Myanmar, Nepal, N Pakistan, Tajikistan; SW Asia (Iran); three species in China.