Description: Perennial herbs with annual leaves and flowers; corm ± globose, tunic of reticulate fibres.
Leaves several, basal, distichous, falcate or lanceolate to linear, flat, glabrous; cauline leaves few, small.
Flowering stem terete, rarely branched; spike secund or sub-distichous; spathe bracts membranous, brown; outer entire or variously toothed; inner shortly 2-fid and often smaller; spathes 1-flowered. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic. Perianth tube short and funnel-shaped or long and tubular; lobes equal or 2-lipped with the uppermost lobe largest and hooded. Stamens with anthers regularly spaced around style or grouped on 1 side of it; anthers included. Style branches 3, entire, recurved, filiform or expanded at apices.
Capsule ellipsoid to ovoid, trigonous, membranous; seeds numerous, small.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 28 species, tropical & southern Africa. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.
Text by T. A. James & E. A. Brown
|One species in NSW: Tritonia gladiolaris|