Description: Dioecious perennial vines or herbs; stems usually smooth, tendrils absent.
Leaves alternate, lamina with numerous longitudinal veins, base not sheathing but sometimes twisted; petiole usually short; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence axillary or terminal, pedunculate, flowers solitary or in few- to several-flowered cymes. Flowers actinomorphic, 3-merous, bisexual. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls, inner ones sometimes fringed. Stamens usually 6; filaments free or fused basally; anthers introrse, dehiscing by pores or slits. Ovary superior, usually 3-locular; ovules few–numerous, in 2 rows per loculus; stigma sessile minutely 3-lobed.
Fruit a berry or a fleshy capsule; seeds 1–many, arillate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 5 gen., 8 spp., southern Afr., S Amer., Aust., N.Z., N.Cal., SE Asia. Aust.: 3 gen., 4 spp., Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Alstroemeriaceae, Order: Liliales)
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Vines with twining stems to more than 100 cm long||2|
|Erect herbs with stems less than 50 cm high||Drymophila|
|2||Leaves with base twisted into an obscure petiole, both surfaces dull, with several equally distinct longitudinal veins; outer tepals fringed; fruit a capsule||Eustrephus|
|Leaves with base twisted into a distinct petiole, twisted, upper surface glossy, lower surface dull, midvein much more prominent than the other longitudinal veins; tepals entire; fruit a berry|
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