Description: Perennial, bulbous herbs; roots fibrous.
Leaves several, basal, linear, annual; lamina with numerous longitudinal veins; stipules absent.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme with each flower subtended by a bract. Flowers actinomorphic, 3-merous, bisexual, pedicellate. Perianth tubular or stellate; tepals 6. Stamens 6; filaments entire, simple; anthers versatile, dorsifixed, introrse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits from base. Septal nectaries present. Ovary superior, 3-lobed, 3-locular, with axile placentation; style elongate to absent; stigma lobed or capitate.
Fruit a loculicidal capsule; seeds 2 or more per loculus, ovoid, black.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 46 genera, c. 920 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 6 genera, 10 species, N.S.W., Vic., S.A., W.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Asparagaceae, Order: Asparagales)
These genera have often been included in the Liliaceae s. lat. or Asparagaceae s. lat.
Text by D. C. Godden (1993); edited KL Wilson (Mar 2012)
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Perianth white to green, stellate with spreading tepals; all flowers fertile||2|
|Perianth dark purple-blue, tubular with short lobes; uppermost flowers sterile||Muscari|
|2||Tepals more or less oblong, thick-textured, whitish or yellowish with distinct, broad, gree to brown longitudinal band on adaxial surface associated with 3–5 central nerves||Albuca|
|Tepals ovate to lanceolate, thick- or thin-textured, unicoloured or with a narrow indistinct green or brown keel on adaxial surface without any central nerves|
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