The plants grow from a bulb or short rhizome; the inflorescence is an apparent umbel formed of several shortened monochasial cymes and subtended by a pair of large bracts.
Terminal scorpioid cymes, small blue, pink or white flowers, a five-cleft persistent calyx, a salveror funnel-shaped corolla, having its mouth closed by five short scales and hard, smooth, shining nutlets.
Here there are scorpioid cymes of pairs of flowers, each pair consisting of an older and a younger flower.
In such cases the cymes are described as spiked, racemose, or panicled, according to circumstances.
In Saxifraga umbrosa (London-pride) and in the horse-chestnut we meet with a raceme of scorpioid cymes; in sea-pink, a capitulum of contracted scorpioid cymes (often called a glomerulus); in laurustinus, a compound umbel of dichasial cymes; a scorpioid cyme of capitula in Vernonia scorpioides.