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)
Circumscription of families in the Dioscoreales has been challenged by the presence of saprophytic species lacking chlorophyll. Recent nuclear data supports the acceptance of Burmanniaceae. In this respect the PlantNet circumscriptions differ from APG IV.
Text by D. J. Bedford & A. J. Whalen
|One genus in NSW: Burmannia|