Description from Flora of China
Herbs, perennial. Caudex thickened, ± woody, stems usually many from 1 crown near ground. Leaves crowded on caudex or on branch apices of caudex, in a rosette. Inflorescences usually 1 or 2 from rosette, axillary, 1--3-times branched; spikes on apical part or at apex of rachis branches, composed of 2--13 or more spikelets arranged distichously; spikelet 2--5-flowered; bracts and first bractlet with a membranous margin wider than herbaceous parts, apex rigidly and thickly cuspidate; first bractlet shorter than bracts. Calyx funnelform; tube upright or basally oblique, indistinctly herbaceous along ribs, scarious between ribs; limb white, dry membranous, expanded, apically 5- or 10-lobed. Corolla basally fused, apically free and expanded. Stamens adnate to base of corolla. Ovary oblong to ovoid-oblong, apex acute. Styles 5, free, basal half papillate; stigmas depressed capitate. Capsules oblong to ovoid-oblong.
About 20 species: N Africa, Asia, Europe; four species in China.