Synonyms: Uvulariaceae APNI*
Description: Erect or sometimes climbing herbs with rhizomes or corms.
Leaves few and basal or numerous and scattered along an erect aerial stem, mostly linear to lanceolate, dorsiventral, lamina usually with numerous longitudinal veins; stipules absent.
Inflorescence terminal on herbaceous stem, racemose, cymose or rarely flowers solitary. Flowers actinomorphic, 3-merous, bisexual or more rarely unisexual and than plants dioecious or polygamous. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls, ± similar in size and shape, free or basally fused. Nectaries present at base of tepals. Stamens usually 6; filaments free; anthers usually extrorse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, 3-locular; ovule several–many per loculus; styles 3, or style 3-lobed.
Fruit capsular; seeds few–many.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 15 genera, 285 species, widespread, Africa, Mediterranean, Asia, Australia, New Zealand. Australia: 5 native genera, c. 35 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Colchicaceae, Order: Liliales)
These genera have often been included in the Liliaceae s. lat. but are supported as a distinct family in all recent classifications. Members of this family contain tropolonic alkaloids, including the toxic colchicine.
Text by G.J. Harden. Updated by R.L. Barrett, Apr. 2021.
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Flowers 10–15 mm diam., tepals 2–4 mm wide||Schelhammera|
|Flowers 15–25 mm diam., tepals 4–7 mm wide||Tripladenia|