Description: Annual or perennial, terrestrial or rarely epiphytic herbs, some species saprophytic; with rhizomatous or tuberous roots.
Leaves basal or cauline and alternate, simple, entire, sessile and stem clasping.
Inflorescence terminal; flowers solitary or in racemes or in 2- or 3-branched cymes with each flower opposite a bract. Flowers actinomorphic, 3-merous, bisexual. Perianth tubular sometimes campanulate or urceolate, 3- or 6-angled or winged; lobes 3 or 6, valvate, inner lobes usually smaller than outer lobes or absent. Stamens 3; anthers sessile or on filaments, inserted opposite and just below inner lobes. Ovary inferior, 1-locular with parietal placentation or 3-locular with axile placentation; ovules numerous; style simple, apically 3-lobed with inner surfaces stigmatic.
Fruit a capsule, 3- or 6-ribbed or winged, often crowned by persistent perianth; seeds numerous, minute.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 9 genera, c. 96 species, generally subtropical to tropical regions of South America, Africa, South-East Asia, Australia. Australia: 1 genus, 3 species, all States except S.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Burmanniaceae, Order: Dioscoreales)
Text by D. J. Bedford & A. J. Whalen
|One genus in NSW: Burmannia|