• M. N. Tamura
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)


Perennial herbs, very rarely without chlorophyll and saprophytic (Petrosavia). Underground stem usually a rhizome, thick to thin, short to long, creeping to ascendant or erect, sometimes with scaly leaves, sometimes stoloniferous, rarely a corm (one sp. of Aletris). Roots fibrous. Foliage leaves mostly basal, often distichous, equitant, unifacial, sometimes spiral, tufted, bifacial, linear, ensiform, lanceolate or broadly oblanceolate, rarely absent. Peduncle erect, usually with small foliage leaves or scaly leaves, rarely leafless. Inflorescence a raceme or more rarely a spike, cyme or corymb, 1-flowered in Harperocallis. Flowers trimerous, bisexual, actinomorphic, often hypogynous, sometimes half-epigynous, often funnel-shaped, cup-shaped or opening flat, sometimes campanulate, urceolate, or tepals reflexed (Aletris spp.). Bracts present, rarely spathelike. Bracteoles usually present, 3-fid to 3-sected, calycular, or linear to lanceolate, rarely absent. Tepals 3 + 3 with generally similar whorls, petaloid, often free, sometimes connate in lower part, linear to ovate, obovate, spathulate or deltoid, 1–17mm long, white, greenish, pale yellow, brown, pinkish, reddish to purple, rarely bright yellow (Narthecium), without spotted patterns, without perigonal nectaries and spurs. Stamens usually 3 + 3, rarely 9 or 10 (Pleea); filaments linear to subulate, sometimes dilated basally, usually glabrous, rarely pubescent (Narthecium); anthers linear-lanceolate to rounded, dorsifixed or basifixed, dehiscent longitudinally, introrse or latrorse. Ovary 3-carpellate, sessile or stipitate, superior to half- (rarely fully) inferior; ovules anatropous or campylotropous, bitegmic or more rarely unitegmic, usually numerous, rarely 4 in each locule (Japonolirion); the carpels connate only at the base or for most or all of their length, ending in recurved styluli or a single style; septal nectaries usually present, rarely absent. Capsules 2–15 mm long, septicidal or loculicidal; seeds linear to broadly elliptical, 0.3–11 mm long, brown, dark red, pale yellow, or whitish, sometimes with appendages at both ends, sometimes only at one end, sometimes with a wing, and sometimes with neither appendage nor wing.


Nectar Secretion Foliage Leave Ventral Bundle Dorsal Bundle 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

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