Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.


Perennial; rhizome slender, creeping
Stem erect, branched, scaly below, leafy above
Leaves alternate, sessile to clasping, ± oblique at base, strongly veined
Inflorescence ± umbel-like, terminal; flowers 1–several, drooping, ± hidden by leaves; perianth segments 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, free, white to greenish in CA; stamens 6, free; ovary superior, chambers 3, style slender, stigma entire or 3-lobed
Fruit: berry, ovoid to spheric, yellow to red
Seeds black
Species in genus: ± 15 species: temp North America, e Asia
Etymology: (Greek: double seed)

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