Description: Predominantly large rosette herbs or trees with a woody trunk or trunkless; stem short and partly subterranean; rootstock usually a rhizome.
Leaves [crowded at end of aerial branches] or from apex of a mostly subterranean rhizome, ± succulent, narrow-linear to ovate and sessile, sometimes ± terete, margins entire, veins parallel; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence usually a raceme or panicle, pedunculate. Flowers articulated on the pedicel, actinomorphic, 3-merous, bisexual. Tepals 6, equal, united in a tube. Stamens 6; filaments inserted at base of lobes; anthers dorsifixed, epipeltate, introrse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, 3-locular; ovule 1 per loculus; style slender; stigma capitate to 3-lobed.
Fruit a berry; seeds 1–3, globose or elongate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 genera, c. 250 species, subtropical to tropical regions of Africa, Asia & Australia. Australia: 2 genera, 2 species, N.S.W., Qld, N.T.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Asparagaceae, Order: Asparagales)
These genera are sometimes included in the family Agavaceae, and Dracaenaceae is sometimes treated as a synonym of Asparagaceae.
A number of species of Dracaena are cultivated as ornamental plants, especially D. draco (L.) L., the Dragon Tree, from the Canary Is.
Text by N. Frischknecht
|One genus in NSW: Sansevieria|