Common name. Grass-lilies. Family Phormiaceae.
Sometimes included in Agavaceae.
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or herbs. Perennial. Leaves basal, or cauline (concentrated at the base of the stem). Plants with a basal concentration of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves; rhizomatous. Helophytic to xerophytic. Leaves medium-sized to very large; alternate; distichous; commonly leathery (or rigid), or ; ambiguously petiolate to subsessile, or sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves edgewise to the stem to with ‘normal’ orientation; simple. Leaf blades entire; flat, or folded; linear; linear (to filiform); parallel-veined; without cross-venules; sheathing. Leaves without stipules. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent (blade). Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in panicles. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences scapiflorous, or not scapiflorous; terminal; cyme open, dichotomous, partially bracteate, few to many-flowered. Flowers pedicellate (articulate below the flower, filiform, terminal or solitary along the branches); bracteate (small or lower ones leafy), or ebracteate; ebracteolate; small to medium-sized; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube present (short), or absent. Perianth of ‘tepals’, or with distinct calyx and corolla (dubiously); 6; 2 -whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls, or different in the two whorls; blue. Calyx (if the outer whorl so designated) 3; 1 -whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous; regular, or unequal but not bilabiate. Corolla (if the inner whorl so designated) 3; 1 -whorled; polypetalous, or gamopetalous; unequal but not bilabiate, or regular; blue. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 6. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 2 -whorled (3+3). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6; all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous; hypogynous; alterniperianthial. Anthers basifixed; dehiscing via pores, or dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 3 celled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 3 locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1. Placentation axile. Ovules several or many; arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal, or septicidal (in the upper part). Fruit 3 celled; few. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds wingless. Cotyledons 1. Testa encrusted with phytomelan.
Geography, cytology, number of species. About 30 species.
Etymology. From the Greek for "tow" and "man, stamen"; the stamens are woolly-tomentose.
Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine (2002). Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 1, introduction, keys, ferns to monocotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study. Canberra.
Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna (1987). Flora of Australia. Volume 45, Hydatellaceae to Liliaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. Canberra.
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