Anemarrhenaceae Conran, M.W. Chase & Rudall
~ Agavaceae, Anthericaceae
Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Perennial; with a basal aggregation of leaves; shortly rhizomatous. Leaves alternate; spiral (?); sheathing; with ‘normal’ orientation; simple. Lamina entire; grass-like, linear; parallel-veined; without cross-venules (?). Lamina margins entire. Leaves with a persistent basal meristem, and basipetal development.
Leaf anatomy. Lamina dorsiventral.
Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Plants hermaphrodite (with the supposedly dioecious Terauchia representing a smut-induced monstrosity).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles (these condensed, spicate). Inflorescences terminal; terminal, erect, pedunculate, leafy, spicate condensed panicles. Flowers small; regular; 3 merous; tetracyclic. Perigone tube present (the tepals connivent into a short tube, the narrow, 3-nerved segments spreading).
Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6; joined (the segments free above the perigone tube); 2 whorled; isomerous; sepaloid to petaloid (?); similar in the two whorls; green to white, or purple, or brown (with brownish veins); persistent; non-accrescent.
Androecium 3. Androecial members adnate (to the inner segments); all equal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 3; isomerous with the perianth; oppositiperianthial (attached to the middle of the inner perianth segments); filantherous (the filaments short and flat). Anthers dorsifixed (linear); versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Microsporogenesis successive.
Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3 celled (and 3-angled). Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 3 locular; sessile. Gynoecium shortly stylate. Styles 1 (filiform); apical. Stigmas 1 (small); capitate (small). Placentation basal to axile. Ovules 2 per locule; ascending; collateral; non-arillate; anatropous.
Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule (sub-globosse to triquetrous). Capsules loculicidal. Dispersal unit the seed. Fruit 3–6 seeded (1–2 per locule). Seeds endospermic (endosperm fleshy); fusiform-triangular. Seeds without starch. Cotyledons 2. Embryo cylindric. Testa encrusted with phytomelan; black.
Seedling. Hypocotyl internode absent. Cotyledon hyperphyll elongated; more or less circular in t.s. Coleoptile absent. Primary root persistent.
Geography, cytology. Holarctic, or Paleotropical. North China.
Taxonomy. Subclass Monocotyledonae. Dahlgren et al. Superorder Liliiflorae; Asparagales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Lilianae; non-commelinid Monocot; Order Asparagales (as a synonym of Asparagaceae).
Species 1. Genera 1; Anemarrhena only.
Conran et al. (1997): description insufficiently detailed, and inadequately cross-referenced with Anthericaceae.
Economic uses, etc. Cultivated ornamental.