Bulbine Wolf
Gen.Pl. 84 (1776)

Name Status: Current
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Scientific Description
J. Gathe and Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Common name. Bulbine lilies. Family Asphodelaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Plants succulent, or non-succulent. Annual, or perennial. Leaves basal. Plants with a basal concentration of leaves; rhizomatous, or tuberous (may also lack a perennating organ). Helophytic, or mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves small to very large; alternate (crowded); spiral, or distichous; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery, or fleshy, or leathery and fleshy; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves simple. Leaf blades entire; linear, or lanceolate, or ovate, or subulate (etc.); ovate to linear; parallel-veined; without cross-venules; dilated, membranous sheathing base present or absent. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire, or serrate, or dentate (and often with an apical spine). Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent, or anomalous; when present, from a single cambial ring. Roots. Roots with velamen, or without velamen.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the gynoecium (via septal nectaries).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes (simple). The terminal inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences scapiflorous; terminal; scape single, central, several to many, long, erect, terete, fleshy, leafless, not enclosed at the base by tubular scales. Flowers pedicellate (short, slender, articulate or not articulate); bracteate (1 subtends each flower, membranous, scarious); ebracteolate; small to large; regular to very irregular; when irregular, zygomorphic. The floral asymmetry involving the perianth, or involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube present, or absent. Free hypanthium very short. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or of ‘tepals’; 6; 2 -whorled (3+3); isomerous; free, or joined; petaloid; similar in the two whorls, or different in the two whorls; green, or white, or red, or pink, or yellow, or purple (not blue or violet). Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 6. Androecial members adnate; all equal; free of one another; 2 -whorled (3+3). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6 (in 2 whorls); all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous; hypogynous, to the base of the perianth; alterniperianthial. Anthers dorsifixed (slightly above the junction of the lobes); 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; apical. Stigmas 1; 3 - lobed. Placentation axile. Ovules 2–8 per locule (in 2 series); arillate; hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Fruit 3 celled; few per cell. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds winged, or wingless. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 1. Embryo straight. Testa encrusted with phytomelan.

Etymology. From the Latin word bulbine; name used by Pliny for Ornithogalum umbellatum.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Keighery, G. J. (2004). A new species of Bulbine (Asphodelaceae) from Western Australia.
  • 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.