• H. T. Clifford
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)


Perennial plants with thick woody stems varying from mainly subterranean, not appearing above the ground, to rather tall and arborescent, branched or unbranched. Leaves borne in dense tufts at the tips of the branches, spirally inserted, long and linear with thickened resiniferous bases persisting as a dense covering to the stem. Inflorescence massive, dense, spikelike, cylindrical, on a woody scape. Flowers bisexual, hypogynous, sessile, actinomorphic, in spirally arranged clusters surrounded by packed bracts. Perianth persistent and hardened at maturity; sepals 3, free, chartaceous or scarious; petals 3, free, membranous, white or yellow, with exserted apices. Stamens 3 + 3, free; anthers bithecate and tetrasporangiate, dorsifixed, dehiscing introrsely by slits. Gynoecium syncarpous, 3-carpellary; septal nectaries well developed; ovary 3-locular, each lo-cule bearing 2 rows of ovules; style terminal, simple, subulate, tapering into an undivided stigma. Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Seeds 1–2 per locule, flattened; testa black; endosperm copious, lacking starch; embryo linear, transverse to long axis of seed.


Perforation Plate Pollen Morphology Silica Body Scalariform Perforation Plate Hummingbird Pollination 
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

  1. Chanda, S., Ghosh, K. 1976. Pollen morphology and its evolutionary significance in Xanthorrhoeaceae. In: Ferguson, I.K., Muller, J. (eds.) The evolutionary significance of the exine. London: Academic Press, pp. 527–559.Google Scholar
  2. Clifford, H.T., Drake, W.E. 1981. Pollination and dispersal in eastern Australian heathlands. In: Specht, R.L. (ed.) Ecosystems of the world, Vol. 9B. Heathlands and related shrublands, analytical studies. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 39–49.Google Scholar
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  9. Rudall, P. 1994. The ovule and embryo sac in Xanthorrhoeaceae sensu lato. Flora 189: 335–351.Google Scholar
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  12. Staff, I.A., Waterhouse, J.T. 1981. The biology of arborescent monocotyledons, with special reference to Australian species. In: Pate, J.G., McComb, A.J. (eds.) Biology of Australian plants. Nedlands: University of West Australian Press, pp. 216–257.Google Scholar
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • H. T. Clifford

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