Description: Herbaceous perennials; underground stems well-developed, modified into a corm or tuberous rhizome.
Leaves basal, clustered, often longer than inflorescence; bases often persisting as a sheath or tunic enveloping the apical portion of the corm.
Inflorescences 1-flowered or scapose racemes or panicles. Flowers actinomorphic, usually 3-merous, bisexual. Tepals 4 or 6, ± equal, free or united basally into a narrow tube. Stamens 4 or 6, inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments narrow, basifixed or epipeltate; anthers 2-locular, introrse to latrorse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary inferior, usually 3-locular; ovules few–several per loculus, placentation axile; style short, 3-branched.
Fruit usually a capsule and mostly crowned by persistent remains of perianth, rarely fleshy and indehiscent; seeds with hard, shiny or dull, thick black or brown testa.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 7 or 8 genera, c. 180 species, tropical & temperate regions, chiefly of Southern Hemisphere. Australia: 3 genera, 12 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Hypoxidaceae, Order: Asparagales)
Molineria capitulata (Lour.) Herb., a native of N Qld and Asia is frequently cultivated as an ornamental houseplant. These genera have often been included in the Liliaceae s. lat.
Text by P. G. Richards
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Leaves usually more than 5 mm wide; inflorescence inconspicuous, amongst leaf bases; perianth tubular at base; fruit fleshy||Curculigo|
|Leaves less than 5 mm wide; inflorescence conspicuous; tepals more or less free; fruit dry||Hypoxis|