Common name. Lachenalias. Family Hyacinthaceae.
Sometimes included in Liliaceae-Scilloideae.
Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Perennial (leaves annual). Leaves basal. Plants with a basal concentration of leaves; bulbaceous (tunicated). Mesophytic. Leaves alternate; spiral; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves simple. Leaf blades entire; flat, or solid; terete (or funnelform); linear, or lanceolate, or ovate, or orbicular; linear (broadly); parallel-veined; without cross-venules; sheathing. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (West Australian species), or absent. 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 racemes, or in spikes. The terminal inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences scapiflorous; terminal; inflorescence scape simple, bracteate, leafless; inflorescence densely and many-flowered; lower flowers sheathed in leaf bases; uppermost flowers vestigial or not vestigial. Flowers pedicellate (long or short), or sessile; bracteate (1 subtends each flower); ebracteolate; small, or medium-sized; regular (usually); 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube present. Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6; 2 -whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls, or different in the two whorls; green (yellow-green). Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 6. Androecial members adnate; all equal; free of one another; 2 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6 (in 2 whorls); all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous; at the top of the perianth tube; alterniperianthial; filantherous (the filaments often broad and flat). Filaments appendiculate, or not appendiculate. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. 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, or from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1; slightly capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 20–50 per locule (numerous); arillate; anatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Fruit 20–100 seeded (many per cell). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 1. Embryo straight, or curved. Testa encrusted with phytomelan, or without phytomelan.
Etymology. After Werner de La Chenal (1736–1800), professor of botany at Basle.