An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions/Commelinaceae

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Family 18.   Commelinaceae   Reichenb.   Consp. 57.   1828.
Spiderwort Family.

Perennial or annual leafy herbs with regular or irregular perfect and often showy flowers in cymes, commonly subtended by spathe-like or leafy bracts. Perianth of 2 series; a calyx of mostly 3 persistent sepals, and a corolla of mostly 3 membranous and deciduous or fugacious petals. Stamens mostly 6, hypogynous, rarely fewer, all similar and perfect or 2 or 3 of them different from the others and sterile; filaments filiform or somewhat flattened; anthers 2-celled, mostly longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary superior, sessile or very nearly so, 2-3-celled ; ovules 1 or several in each cell, anatropous or half anatropous ; style simple ; stigmas terminal, entire or obscurely 2-3-lobed. Seeds solitary or several in each cell of the capsule. Capsule 2-3-celled, loculicidally 2-3-valved. Embryo small. Endosperm copious.

About 25 genera and 350 species, mostly natives of tropical regions, a few in the temperate zones.