Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)


Acaulescent or short-stemmed perennial geophytes without alliaceous odour; stem swollen, forming a starch-storing corm; shoot growth monopodial; each shoot forming a new corm every year on top of and from apex of the corm of the previous year; green leaves and scapes appearing from the upper part of the young corm; the dried leaf bases of previous year enveloping the young corm and forming a membranous, reticulate, or fibrous tunic. Leaves spirally arranged, linear, flat, angular, terete, or fistular, often fleshy, forming closed sheaths below; veins parallel. Scape usually solitary, from a leaf axil near the top of the new corm. Inflorescence an umbel, rarely reduced to a single flower. Pedicels often articulated at base and/or at apex, and subtended by an individual small bract (2 when the flower solitary). Flowers hermaphroditic, actinomorphic. Tepals 3 + 3, usually ± united below. Three or 6 stamens fertile, the missing ones often transformed into staminodes. Filaments inserted on the tepals, free from each other or united, often with lateral, dorsal, or apical appendices. A corona, scales or appendices often present between tepals and stamens. Anthers versatile except in Brodiaea and Dichelostemma, ± basifixed, introrse, opening with longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, sometimes on a gynophore, tricarpellate, trilocular. Style solitary, erect, at apex of ovary. Stigma capitate or trilobate with a Dry or sometimes Wet (Bloomeria) surface. Two or several ovules in each locule. Ovules anatropous. Fruit a loculicidal capsule with few to numerous seeds. Seeds 2-several in each loculus, angular or semiovoid (triangular in transection). Testa usually with a thick crust of phytomelan. Endosperm with fatty oils and aleuron, but no starch. Embryo short and straight.


Calcium Oxalate Longitudinal Slit Perianth Segment Stigma Capitate Perianth Tube 
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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Selected Bibliography

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Rahn

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