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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Doryanthaceae Dahlgren and Clifford

~ Amaryllidaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Giant rosette herbs. Perennial; with a basal aggregation of leaves; tuberous (and with a short basal stem). Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves large; alternate; spiral; leathery; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves ‘normally orientated’ (and not laterally compressed basally); simple. Lamina entire; linear; parallel-veined; without cross-venules. Lamina margins entire. Leaf development probably ‘graminaceous’.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Stomata present; paracytic. The mesophyll containing crystals. The crystals solitary-prismatic.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the gynoecium (via septal nectaries). Pollination ornithophilous.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences not scapiflorous (up to 5 m long, with numerous short leaves); terminal; elongate or sometimes globose thyrses, the flowers sometimes substituted by bulbils; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts; more or less pseudanthial, or not pseudanthial. Flowers large (10–15 cm long); regular to somewhat irregular; when somewhat irregular, more or less zygomorphic. The floral irregularity involving the perianth, or involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube absent.

Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6; free; 2 whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls; white, or red (maroon). Tepal apex trichomes (TAT) present.

Androecium 6. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal to markedly unequal; free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6; diplostemonous. Anthers (pseudo-) basifixed (the apex of the filament enclosed in a tube from the back of the connective); dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. Tapetum glandular. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 1 aperturate; sulcate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary 3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1 (deeply grooved); attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stylar canal present. Stigmas minutely 3 lobed. Placentation axile. Ovules 5–50 per locule (‘several to many’); non-arillate; anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; proliferating (up to 5 cells). Synergids pear-shaped. Hypostase present. Endosperm formation helobial.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds winged, or wingless. Cotyledons 1. Testa without phytomelan.

Seedling. Seedling collar not conspicuous. Coleoptile absent. Primary root ephemeral.

Physiology, phytochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Proanthocyanidins present; cyanidin. Flavonols absent. Ellagic acid absent.

Geography, cytology. Australian. Queensland and New South Wales.

Taxonomy. Subclass Monocotyledonae. Dahlgren et al. Superorder Liliiflorae; Asparagales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Lilianae; non-commelinid Monocot; Order Asparagales.

Species 3. Genera 1; only genus, Doryanthes.

Illustrations. • Doryanthes palmeri: Bot. Mag. 109 (1883). • Doryanthes excelsa, habit: Bot. Mag. 41 (1815). • Doryanthes excelsa, inflorescence: Bot. Mag. 41 (1815).


We advise against extracting comparative information from the descriptions. This is much more easily achieved using the DELTA data files or the interactive key, which allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, distributions of character states within any set of taxa, geographical distribution, genera included in each family, and classifications (Dahlgren; Dahlgren, Clifford, and Yeo; Cronquist; APG). See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.


Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 12th September 2017. delta-intkey.com/angio’.

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