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Published In: Botanisches Wörterbuch 1: 315. 1797. (Bot. Wörterb.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: S. I. ALI
Contributor Institution: Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
General/Distribution: A family of c. 67 genera and 900 species (Speta in Kubitzki, Fam. Genera Vasc. Plants 3: 261. 1998) with greatest diversity in S. Africa and Mediterranean, widely distributed in NW Europe, Central Asia and E. Asia, two small subfamilies extending to N. and S. America. Represented in Pakistan by 7 genera and nine species.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Acknowledgement: We are grateful to the Directors/ Curators of the following herbaria for herbarium and library facilities and for sending the specimens on loan: BM, E, K, LINN and RAW. Special thanks are due to Brian Mathew (Kew) for going through the manuscript and offering valuable suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge financial support for this publication from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and National Science Foundation (DEB 0103783), Washington, U.S.A. obtained through the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, U.S.A. We are grateful to Professor Peter H. Raven of the Missouri Botanical Garden for his assistance in securing the support. Grateful thanks are due to Professor Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Vice-Chancellor, University of Karachi and Professor Shahid Shaukat, Chairman, Department of Botany, University of Karachi for providing working facilities to the project and for their understanding and encouragement.

This issue is funded in part by the US National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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Mostly bulbous plants. Bulbs formed by foliage leaf bases or thickened cataphylls. Foliage leaves 1-many, filiform, elliptic or circular. Inflorescence scapose simple raceme or rarely a spike or compound raceme, 1-many flowered, generally bracteate. Flowers not articulated from the pedicel, actinomorphic, rarely zygomorphic, hermaphrodite, hypogynous, trimerous. Tepals 3 + 3, polyphyllous or more or less gamophyllous, white, blue, red, yellow, brownish or greenish; inner and outer more or less similar. Stamens 3 + 3, sometimes 1 whorl sterile, sometimes epiphyllous; anthers introrse, dehiscing longitudinally. Pistil, tricarpellary, syncarpous, trilocular, inner septal nectaries present, style with simple or sometimes thickened stigma. Capsule with loculicidal dehiscence. Seeds variable in shape and colour.

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1 Tepals free or connate at the base for 1/3 to 2/5 of their length (2)
+ Tepals connate at the base for at least 3/5 of their length or more (4)
2 (1) Plant at flowering time leafless, bulb 5-15 cm in diameter 3 Drimia
+ Plant at flowering time leafy, bulb smaller (3)
3 (2) Bracts small and membranous or none. Perianth violet to blue or whitish with blue nerve, sometimes pinkish 5 Scilla
+ Bracts often as long as pedicel, several nerved. Tepals yellowish white or usually white with a green stripe outside 7 Ornithogalum
4 (1) Bracts well developed with marked nerves 2 Dipcadi
+ Bracts minute without distinct nerves (5)
5 (4) Perianth constricted near apex with small short lobes 4 Muscari
+ Perianth not as above (6)
6 (5) Filaments flattened, ± broadly triangular, often connate at the base, attached at base of lobes or slightly below. Capsule triquetrous 1 Bellevalia
+ Filaments not as above, usually attached in the perianth tube, lobes horizontally spreading or recurved. Capsule globose 6 Hyacinthus
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