Description: Annual or perennial herbs; stems prostrate to erect.
Leaves spiral or distichous; lamina glabrous, sessile or petiolate.
Inflorescence terminal or terminal and axillary; bracteoles persistent, cup-shaped. Flowers bisexual or unisexual. Outer tepals free, mostly green; inner tepals free, the upper 2 yellow, pink, blue or white, the lower one reduced, often colourless. Fertile stamens usually 3, on the lower side, dimorphic, filaments glabrous (the laterals sometimes bearded), anthers dehiscing by slits; staminodes 3, on the upper side, filaments glabrous. Ovary 2- or 3-locular, the dorsal loculus aborted or with 1 ovule, the ventral loculi with 1–6 ovules.
Fruit a 2-valved capsule; seeds white to dark brown, smooth or ornamented.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 60 species, trops. Australia: 3 species (endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Inflorescence pedunculate, a narrow panicle, usually 8–15 cm long; leaves mostly 4–10 cm long||Aneilema acuminatum|
|Inflorescence sessile, few-flowered, less than 4 cm long; leaves mostly 2–5 cm long||Aneilema biflorum|