The families of flowering plants

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Tecophilaeaceae Leybold

~ Former Liliaceae.

Including Androsynaceae Salisb., Cyanellaceae Salisb., Lanariaceae Huber ex Dahlgren, Walleriaceae; excluding Cyanastraceae.

Habit and leaf form. Medium or small, generally glabrous herbs. Plants non-succulent. Perennial; with a basal aggregation of leaves, or without conspicuous aggregations of leaves; cormous, or tuberous. Leaves alternate; spiral, or distichous; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves simple. Lamina entire; linear to lanceolate, or ovate, or orbicular; parallel-veined; without cross-venules; attenuate at the base. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Stomata present; anomocytic. Guard-cells not ‘grass type’. The mesophyll containing crystals. The crystals raphides. Midrib conspicuous. Foliar vessels absent. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (1 genus).

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Secondary thickening absent. The axial xylem without vessels.

Root anatomy. Root xylem with vessels; vessel end-walls scalariform.

Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescences scapiflorous to not scapiflorous; terminal; simple or compound racemes or thyrses; espatheate. Flowers bracteate; regular, or somewhat irregular; when irregular, somewhat zygomorphic. The floral irregularity (when present) involving the androecium (e.g., sometimes with one anther much larger than the rest), or involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers 3 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Perigone tube present (but short), or absent.

Perianth of ‘tepals’ (the members spreading or reflexed); 6; free, or joined; 2 whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls; white, or yellow, or violet, or blue.

Androecium 6. Androecial members adnate; all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another to coherent (via shortly connate filament bases). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes when present, 1–3(–5). Stamens (1–)3–6; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth to diplostemonous; oppositiperianthial (when 3), or alterniperianthial; filantherous, or with sessile anthers. Anthers separate from one another, or connivent, or cohering (connate in Conanthera); basifixed (mostly), or dorsifixed (peltate, in Tecophilaea); non-versatile; apically dehiscing via pores, or dehiscing via short slits (dehiscing longitudinally only in Lanaria, a dubious inclusion in this family); introrse; appendaged, or unappendaged. The anther appendages apical, or basal, or apical and basal (the connective sometimes produced at both ends). Anther epidermis persistent. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. Tapetum glandular (?). Pollen grains aperturate; 1 aperturate; sulcate (with an operculum); 2-celled.

Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; partly inferior (usually), or superior (only in Walleria, which probably belongs elsewhere). Ovary 3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1 (the style filiform); apical. Stylar canal present. Stigmas 1; more or less 3 lobed; small, capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 4–50 per locule (‘several to many’); in two rows; non-arillate; anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle, or not contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral to persistent. Synergids pear-shaped. Endosperm formation nuclear (in Cyanella). Endosperm haustoria present, or absent; when formed, chalazal.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules apically loculicidal. Fruit many seeded. Seeds endospermic; small. Embryo well differentiated. Testa encrusted with phytomelan (usually), or without phytomelan (seemingly only Walleria, which may belong elsewhere); at least sometimes black (e.g. Cyanella). Polyembryony recorded (in Cyanella).

Geography, cytology. Holarctic, Paleotropical, Neotropical, Cape, and Antarctic. Madrean. Temperate to tropical. Pacific North and South America, central and South Africa.

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

Species 22. Genera 7, or 8; Conanthera, Cyanella, Lanaria(?), Lophiola, Odontospermum, Tecophilaea, Walleria, Zephyra.

General remarks. Lanaria may merit a monogeneric family: see Rudall et al. (1998).

Illustrations. • Conanthera (Chittenden).


This description is offered for casual browsing only. We strongly advise against extracting comparative information from it. This is much more easily achieved using 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).

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 22nd April 2014. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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