• P. L. Perry
  • P. J. Rudall
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)


Geophytic, tuberous perennial herbs with leaves hysteranthous or synanthous. Tuber hypocotyledonary in origin, single or multiple, sometimes with slender, rhizomelike outgrowths, flesh white, yellow, pink to maroon-red, with the growing point single or multiple, apical, basal or lateral. Leaves 1-several, with petiolelike leaf sheath, with age forming a fibrous or membranous neck; blade linear to ovate or orbicular, erect or prostrate, glabrous or pubescent, producing complex enations from the adaxial surface in some species. Flowering stem a scape, erect, with a sheathing cataphyll either subterranean or aerial and green. Inflorescence a simple raceme, straight or flexuose, few-to many-flowered. Flowers hermaphrodite, few to numerous, sometimes scented; bracts minute, membranous; pedicels accrescent, very short to long, erect-patent. Perianth white, pink or yellow, persistent; tepals 6, in 2 whorls, connate shortly at the base, rotate, campanulate or cyathiform, equal or dimorphic with outer spreading and inner erect. Stamens 6, adnate to base of tepals; filaments filiform to broadly lanceolate; anthers bithecate and tetrasporangiate, dorsifixed, versatile, subglobose to oval, introrse. Ovary superior, sessile, 3-locular, with basal septal nectaries; ovules axile, 3–6 per locule; style terete; stigma apical, small. Capsule turbinate or ovoid, emarginate, loculicidally 3-valved, valves persistent. Seeds 6–12 per capsule, oval to comma-shaped; testa fawn, densely covered with white, unicellular hairs up to 8 mm long, turning brown with age; embryo large; perisperm replacing an endosperm in the mature seed, at least in some species.


Unicellular Hair Axile Placentation Septal Nectary Select Bibliography Plant Chromosome Number 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Selected Bibliography

  1. Baijnath, H., Perry, P.L. 1980. Preliminary observations of leaf surface structures in Eriospermum Jacq. Electron Microsc. Soc. South Afr. Proc. 10: 39–40.Google Scholar
  2. Chase, M.W. et al. 1995a. See general references.Google Scholar
  3. Dahlgren, R.M.T., van Wyk, A.E. 1988. Structures and rela- tionships of families endemic to or centred in SouthernGoogle Scholar
  4. Africa. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Mo. Bot. Gard. 25: 1–94. Dahlgren, R. et al. 1985. See general references.Google Scholar
  5. Huber, H. 1969. See general references.Google Scholar
  6. Johnson, M.A.T., Brandham, P.E. 1997. New chromosome numbers in petaloid monoctyledons and in other miscellaneous angiosperms. Kew Bull. 51: 121–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jones, K., Smith, J.B. 1967. The karyotypes of twenty-five tropical species. Kew Bull. 21: 31–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lu, A.M. 1985. Embryology and possible relationships of Eriospermum. Nord. J. Bot. 5: 229–240.Google Scholar
  9. Baker, J.G. 1875. Revision of the genera and species of Asparagaceae. J. Linn Soc., Bot. 14: 508–632.Google Scholar
  10. Marloth, R. 1929. Eriospermums. S. Afr. Gardening Country Life 19: 249–261, 325–327.Google Scholar
  11. Mogford, D.J., Perry, P.L. 1981. Chromosome studies in the Southern African flora 7–9. J. S. Afr. Bot. 47: 293–296.Google Scholar
  12. Mogford, D.J., Hartley, D.H., Perry, P.L. 1981. Chromosome studies in the Southern African flora 22–24. J. S. Afr. Bot. 47: 751–754.Google Scholar
  13. Perry, P.L. 1994. A revision of the genus Eriospermum (Eriospermaceae). Contr. Bolus Herb. 17. 320 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Schulze, W. 1982. Beiträge zur Taxonomie der Liliifloren. IX. Anthericaceae. Wiss. Z. Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Math.-Nat. R. 31: 291–307.Google Scholar
  15. Simpson, M.G. 1985. Pollen ultrastructure of the Tecophilaeaceae. Grana 24: 77–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tamura, M.N. 1995. See general references.Google Scholar
  17. Watt, J.M., Breijer-Brandwijk, M.G. 1962. Medicinal and poisonous plants of southern and eastern Africa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. L. Perry
  • P. J. Rudall

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations