Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, rhizomatous. Rhizome often short, inconspicuous, sometimes thick, elongate. Roots usually ± thick or slightly fleshy. Leaves basal, subdistichous or fasciculate, sessile or petiolate, usually linear to elliptic-lanceolate, conduplicate, base sheathing. Scape axillary, proximally with bractlike cauline leaves. Inflorescence a terminal raceme or panicle; bracts small. Flowers bisexual; pedicel articulate. Perianth usually white; tepals 6, free, 3--7-veined, persistent or marcescent. Stamens 6, inserted at base of tepals; filaments filiform, usually slightly widened near middle; anthers nearly basifixed, introrse. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules 1 to several per locule. Style slender; stigma small. Fruit a capsule, acutely 3-angled, loculicidal. Seeds black coated, flattened.
In addition to the following species, Chlorophytum comosum (Thunberg) Jacques, native to S Africa, is cultivated in China as an ornamental.
Between 100 and 150 species: mainly in tropical areas of Africa, Asia, and Australia, also in South America; four species (one endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Minoru N. Tamura)