Terrestrial acaulescent herbs with subglobose tubers, seasonally dying back and dormant. Leaf solitary, subtended by several basal cataphylls; petiole with inconspicuous sheath, lacking apical pulvinus; blade deeply pedately-lobed; venation reticulate, primary lateral veins of lobes forming inframarginal veins. Inflorescence solitary, appearing before leaf. Spathe borne at ground-level, erect, margins connate basally forming a tube, somewhat inflated at extreme base, upper expanded limb much longer, narrowly oblong-lanceolate. Spadix with short ± cylindric basal pistillate part, followed by much longer sterile zone, naked apart from filiform to clavate projections at base; central staminate part short and cylindric, followed by slender, ± cylindric, smooth, sterile, terminal appendix. Flowers unisexual, lacking perigon, densely congested. Stamens free, ± sessile; anthers dehiscing by oblique apical pores; connective slender. Ovary unilocular; ovules orthotropous, 1–4, basal; stigma subsessile, capitate. Berries purple to red, densely congested in subglobose infructescence. Seeds with abundant endosperm.
Sauromatum can be separated from all other Areae genera by a combination of four characters Sauromatum: has (1) pedatisect leaves; (2) a spathe tube with fused margins, (3) clavate lower staminodes; and (iv) upper staminodes that are differently shaped from the lower ones and/or longitudinal ridges on the spadix between the lower staminodes and the stamens. The ridges on the spadix may represent vestigial staminode bases, as is visible in S. giganteum. When the last two of these four characters apply and a species has pedatisect leaves and/or a fused spathe tube, then it can be assigned to Sauromatum.