• J. G. Conran
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)


Erect, tufted, shrubby or arborescent perennials to about 10 m tall (Cordyline); roots fibrous or thickened and fleshy; vegetative axis elongate or condensed; leaves spiral or distichous, more or less sheathing, sometimes surrounded basally by a scarious sheath of former leaf bases; leaf blades dorsiventral, cylindrical or linear to linear-lanceolate, margins entire, scarious or prickly; ligules rarely present (Sowerbaea, Laxmannia). Inflorescence erect, simple or compound spikes, racemes, bracteate umbels or cymes; flowers hermaphrodite or dioecious, hypogynous, small to medium, white, blue, pink, mauve or purple; perianth of 2 similar trimerous whorls, persistent, marcescent, free or united, petaloid, scarious or fleshy, margins entire or fimbriate. Stamens 3 + 3 or 0 + 3, hypogynous, or all, or the inner 3 sometimes attached to the tepals, the outer 3 sometimes reduced to staminodes. Anthers basifixed, medifixed or dorsifixed, dehiscing introrsely or extrorsely, by slits (most genera) or pores (Eustrephus, Thysanotus), sometimes with hairy filaments or staminal appendages (Arthropodium and Trichopetalum). Ovary syncarpous, 3-locular with several axile ovules per locule. Style single, with 1–3 stigmatic lobes. Ovules anatropous or more or less campylotropous, single to numerous per locule. Fruit a berry, loculicidal capsule or nutlet. Seeds numerous to few, pale yellow to brown or black; testa thin, with or without phytomelan; endosperm copious, without starch; embryo linear, 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the seed, sometimes longer, straight, curved or more or less coiled.


Australian Government Publishing Longitudinal Slit Outer Tepal Stigma Capitate Short Rhizome 
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

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  • J. G. Conran

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