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Genus Sparaxis Family Iridaceae

Description: Perennial herbs with annual leaves and flowers; corm globose, tunic fibrous.

Leaves mostly basal and distichous, ± sword-shaped, equitant, flat, soft-textured, midveins prominent, glabrous; bulbils sometimes in leaf axils; with up to 2 cauline leaves. Scape unbranched or few-branched; spike distichous to secund, lax, few-flowered; spathe bracts subequal, apex lacerate, scarious, brown-streaked; spathes 1-flowered.

Flowers erect, actinomorphic [to strongly zygomorphic]. Perianth tube straight, cylindrical below, funnel-shaped above; lobes erect to spreading, equal, longer than tube [or upper tepal enlarged]. Stamens with anthers on 1 side of the style or regularly spaced around it. Style filiform or terminally expanded, 3-branched; branches entire.

Capsule obovoid, membranous; seeds numerous, globose, smooth.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 13 species, southern Africa. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.

Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Perianth lobes with dark blotch immediately above yellow throat; stamens with anthers regularly spaced around style; bracts ovate, slightly lacerate or entire; bulbils 1 or 2 in lowermost leaf axilsSparaxis tricolor
Perianth lobes lacking dark blotch immediately above yellow throat; stamens with anthers grouped on 1 side of the style; bracts deeply lacerate with spreading subulate tips; bulbils several in most leaf axilsSparaxis bulbifera

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