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Genus Thysanotus Family Anthericaceae

Description: Perennial herbs, usually erect or spreading, rarely twining or prostrate; sometimes rhizomatous, roots fibrous or tuberous.

Leaves present or absent at anthesis, often withering early; annual, basal, linear.

Inflorescence paniculate or cymose; flowers single or in umbels; pedicellate. Tepals free, 3–7-veined, persistent, mauve-blue; outer tepals linear to lanceolate, membranous-edged, without fringed margins; inner tepals elliptic; margins fringed. Stamens 6 [or 3], equal or unequal in length; anthers introrse or latrorse, dehiscing by terminal pores or rarely by longitudinal slits (only T. patersonii in N.S.W.). Ovules usually 2 per loculus; style filiform, straight or curved, undivided.

Fruit a capsule enclosed within persistent perianth; seeds black, arillate.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 49 species, Australia, Malesia, Asia. Australia: 49 species (47 species endemic), all States.

Thysanotus is sometimes placed in the family Asparagaceae.

Text by S. McCune & D.W. Hardin
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Flowering stems annual, twining or prostrate; flowers occurring singly on branches; anthers all more or less equal, dehiscing by longitudinal slitsThysanotus patersonii
Flowering stems perennial, not twinning, erect or spreading, or absent; flowers usually 2 or more per umbel, often in paniculate inflorescences; anthers usually unequal, dehiscing by terminal pores2
2Basal leaves 3–15, usually present at flowering (rarely only bases persistent on stems); roots tuberous3
Basal leaves absent or 1–3; roots fibrous
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4
3Basal leaves 5–15, usually more than 15 cm long; umbel bracts purple-centred with scarious margins; tubers 3.5–5 cm from rootstockThysanotus tuberosus
Basal leaves 3–5, usually less than 15 cm long; umbel bracts scarious, colourless; tubers 7–10 cm from rootstock
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Thysanotus baueri
4Stems ridged, ridges scabrous with short or tuberculate hairs; terminal umbels usually 2-flowered; outer tepals 3–4 mm wide and mostly 7-veinedThysanotus virgatus
Stems striate, glabrous at least in upper parts; terminal umbels usually more than 2-flowered; outer tepals 1.5–2 mm wide and usually 5-veined
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Thysanotus juncifolius

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