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

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Family 23.   ConvallariaceaeLink.   Handb. 1: 184.   1829.
Lily-of-the-Valley Family.

Scapose or leafy-stemmed herbs, with simple or branched rootstocks, never with bulbs or corms.  Flowers solitary, racemose, panicled or umbelled, regular and perfect.  Leaves broad, parallel-veined and sometimes with cross-veinlets, alternate, verticillate or basal, or in Asparagus and its allies reduced to scales bearing filiform or flattened branchlets in their axils.  Perianth inferior, 4-6-parted with separate segments, or oblong, cylindric or urn-shaped and 6-lobed or 6-toothed.  Stamens 6, rarely 4, hypogynous or borne on the perianth; anthers introrsely, extrorsely or laterally dehiscent.  Ovary 2~3-celled, superior; ovules anatropous or amphitropous; style slender or short; stigma mostly 3-lobed.  Fruit a fleshy berry, rarely a capsule.  Seeds few or numerous.  Embryo small.

About 23 genera and 215 species, widely distributed.


Leaves reduced to scales ; leaf-like bractlets filiform. 1. Asparagus.
Leaves broad; stems simple or somewhat branched.
Leaves basal; flowers umbelled or solitary. 2. Clintonia.
Leaves alternate (solitary in flowerless plants of no. 4).
Perianth-segments separate.
Flowers racemed, umbelled, panicled or solitary, terminal.
Flowers racemed or panicled.
Perianth-segments 6. 3. Vagnera.
Perianth-segments 4. 4. Unifolium.
Flowers umbelled or solitary.
Fruit a berry. 5. Disporum.
Fruit a capsule. 6. Uvularia.
Flowers solitary or two together, axillary. 7. Streptopus.
Perianth cylindric or oblong, 6-toothed. 8. Polygonatum.
Leaves nearly basal; flowers racemed; perianth 6-toothed. 9. Convallana.