The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Blandfordiaceae Dahlgren and Clifford



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Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Perennial (erect, about 150 cm tall); with a basal aggregation of leaves (usually), or with neither basal nor terminal aggregations of leaves; cormous and tuberous. Helophytic to mesophytic (in moist sandy and peaty soils and swamps). Leaves alternate; distichous; sessile; sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; linear; parallel-veined. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic. Hairs absent.

Lamina without secretory cavities. The mesophyll containing calcium oxalate crystals, or without calcium oxalate crystals. The mesophyll crystals druses (? — neither raphides nor styloids).

Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities absent. Secondary thickening absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present, or absent (? — no septal nectaries).

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’ (usually), or solitary (then axillary); usually in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences scapiflorous to not scapiflorous (the peduncle with leaflike bracts); terminal; racemes. Flowers bracteate (with one leaflike bract); bracteolate (with one bracteole); regular (pendulous); 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Floral receptacle developing a gynophore (noticeable in the fruit). Perigone tube present (tubular to campanulate).

Perianthof ‘tepals’; 6; joined; 2 whorled (3+3); isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls; yellow, orange, and red (the tube orange-red, the lobes yellow).

Androecium 6. Androecial members adnate (to the perianth tube, about one third of the distance from its base); all equal; free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6; diplostemonous; alterniperianthial. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; latrorse. Pollen grains aperturate; 1 aperturate; sulcate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 3 locular; stipitate. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 1; slightly 3 lobed; capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 40–50 per locule; anatropous; crassinucellate. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Synergids hooked (with filiform apparatus). Endosperm formation helobial.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules septicidal. Seeds endospermic (the endosperm starchless); conspicuously hairy (felted). Seeds without starch. Cotyledons 1. Testa papillose- hairy; without phytomelan; brown.

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Proanthocyanidins present, or absent; when present, cyanidin. Flavonols present; quercetin, or kaempferol and quercetin (?). Ellagic acid absent.

Geography, cytology. Australian. Eastern Australia and Tasmania.

Taxonomy.Subclass Monocotyledonae. Dahlgren et al. Superorder Liliiflorae; Asparagales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Lilianae; non-commelinid Monocot; Order Asparagales.

Species 4. Genera 1; only genus, Blandfordia.

General remarks. Family description of Dahlgren and Clifford (1985) augmented from Henderson (1987). Its precise relationships ‘remain poorly supported within the asteliod clade’ (Rudall et al. (1998).


  • Blandfordia nobilis: Bot. Reg. 286, 1818.    
  • Blandfordia grandiflora: Bot. Reg. 924, 1825.
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