Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Higher Taxonomy
Family: MelanthiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, from rhizome or bulb, or rhizomes ending in weakly developed bulbs, scapose or not. Leaf: alternate, whorled, or mostly basal and spirally arranged, deciduous after 1 year or not. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls or of sepals and petals, free or fused below, +- spreading; stamens 6, from perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, persistent. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal.
Genera In Family: 10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. Note: W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Habit: Plant non-flowering for several years, stalk dying after fruiting; rhizome woody, tuber-like. Stem: stout, simple, leafy. Leaf: persistent, wiry, tough, grass-like, strongly scabrous. Inflorescence: raceme, dense, +- club-shaped, longer (to 50 cm) in fruit. Flower: perianth parts free, oblong to ovate, persistent, +- white to cream, 5--7-veined; filaments wider at base, anthers attached near middle; style short, stigmas thread-like. Fruit: 3-angled, loculicidal. Seed: 9--18, oblong, 3-angled, black.
Species In Genus: 2 species: North America. Etymology: (Greek: dry leaf, from tough, persistent leaves)
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal
Reference: Fay et al. 2006 Aliso 22:559--565
Unabridged Reference: Fay, M. F., et al. 2006 Phylogenetics of Liliales: summarized evidence from combined analysis of five plastid and one mitochondrial loci. Aliso 22:559--565
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2012, Xerophyllum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 17, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 17, 2022.