• A. W. Meerow
  • D. A. Snijman
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)


Bulbous (rarely rhizomatous), mostly geophytic, perennials, terrestrial, occasionally aquatic or epiphytic, rich in family-specific alkaloids. Bulbs tunicate. Leaves annual or persistent, sessile and linear or lorate, or petiolate and lanceolate to widely elliptic, distichous or spirally arranged; sometimes basally sheathing and forming an aerial pseudostem, usually glabrous, rarely with trichomes. Inflorescence scapose, pseudoumbellate (reduced helicoid cymes); scape sometimes wholly subterranean and appearing obsolete, terminated by 2 or more spathaceous, obvolute or equitant, usually marcescent bracts that enclose the flowers in bud (bracts rarely absent); inner bracteoles usually present and successively shorter and narrower. Flowers 1–many, perfect, frequently large and showy, sessile or pedicellate, each usually subtended by a bracteole, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, generally protandrous.


Outer Whorl Style Base Outer Tepal Free Filament Stigma Capitate 
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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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Meerow
  • D. A. Snijman

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