| Author||J.P. Jessop|
|Journal||Flora Malesiana - Series 1, Spermatophyta|
|Abstract||Herbs, usually glabrous, with perennial underground stems (corms, bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes) in all Mal. spp. Aerial stems usually herbaceous and annual, erect or climbing. Leaves simple, caespitose and basal, sometimes distichous, if cauline usually alternate, generally linear to lanceolate or oblanceolate especially when basal, but sometimes shorter and broader (to ovate) when cauline, usually sessile (in Asparagus and Petrosavia reduced to non-photosynthetic scales), usually with parallel venation. Stipules 0. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, usually racemose (less often at least partly umbellate) or flowers solitary, usually bracteate. Flowers bisexual (except, in Mal., Asparagus cochinchinensis and Astelia alpina), usually actinomorphic. Perianth segments almost invariably 6 in two more or less similar or less often distinctly dissimilar whorls of 3, petaloid, connate or free, the outer whorl sometimes saccate at the base. Stamens 6, inserted on receptacle or perianth; filaments connate or free, rarely forming a corona-like ring attached to the perianth; anthers basifixed or dorsifixed, rarely sessile, usually 2-celled, extrorse to introrse or rarely dehiscing by an apical pore. Ovary usually superior, of 3 (usually fused) carpels; styles 1 or 3, simple or 3-branched; locules usually 3 (1 in Tricalistra) ; ovules 1 to numerous, placentation axile, rarely basal or parietal, usually in 2 rows. Fruit usually a loculicidal or septicidal capsule or berry, rarely the ovary wall ruptured by the developing seed which develops unprotected by a fruit, perianth caducous or persistent. Seeds with copious fleshy or cartilaginous endosperm.|
Distribution. About 180 genera with approximately 3500 spp., distributed all over the world, especially in the temperate regions of Asia, Australasia and Africa, but relatively poorly represented in South America (13 genera).
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