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Costaceae

  • K. Larsen
Chapter
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 4)

Abstract

Perennial, rhizomatous, non-aromatic herbs, terrestrial or more rarely epiphytic. Indumentum of uniseriate, multicellular or unicellular hairs. Stems terete, most often unbranched, leafy, sometimes spirally contorted; when branched, then secondary branches breaking through the leaf sheaths (Tapeinochilus). Leaves spirally arranged, sheaths closed, tubular; ligule present; petiole short; pulvinus absent; lamina narrowly to broadly elliptic, rolled up from one side to the other in bud. Inflorescence a strobilaceous spike, terminal on the leafy shoot or on a separate, short, leafless shoot, or flowers solitary, axillary (Monocostus). Bracts imbricate, with a linear, nectariferous callus below the tip, each subtending 1–2 flowers; bracteoles tubular or folded. Flowers epigynous, perfect, zygomorphic; calyx tubular, shortly 2–3-lobed; corolla 3-lobed, the lobes basally fused, imbricate in bud, unequal; stamen 1, often petaloid, bearing 2 2-sporangiate thecae, dehiscing introrsely by longitudinal slits, often appendaged at the apex. Labellum petaloid, staminodial, opposite to the stamen, as long as or much longer than the corolla, ± 3-lobed, often with crisped margin; basal part of stamen and labellum united into a papillate tube. Gynoecium 3(−2)-carpellate; ovary inferior, 3(−2)-Jocular; placentation axile; ovules numerous, anatropous, crassinucellar; septal nectaries 2, immersed in the apical part of the ovary; style filiform, commonly enclosed between the thecae; stigma Wet, with or without a dorsal appendage. Fruit a 3(−2)-locular capsule crowned by the persistent calyx, dehiscing loculicidally, rarely explosively, or indehiscent and irregularly breaking when old. Seeds numerous, aril white to yellow; operculum next to the prominent radicle; embryo straight; endosperm poorly developed; perisperm abundant, with copious starch in simple grains.

Keywords

Leaf Axil Tall Herb Leafy Shoot Floral Tube Multicellular Hair 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • K. Larsen

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