Common name. Black Kangaroopaw. Family Haemodoraceae.
Habit and leaf form. Herbs; with coloured juice, or non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Perennial. Leaves basal and cauline (mainly basal). Plants with a basal concentration of leaves (leaves all radical); rhizomatous (short, horizontal, not red internally). Rhizome and root tissues brightly red-pigmented, or not red-pigmented. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves medium-sized to large; alternate; distichous; leathery; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves edgewise to the stem, or with ‘normal’ orientation; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat; linear (or ensiform); linear; parallel-veined; sheathing, partially open on one margin. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaves with a persistent basal meristem, and basipetal development. Vernation conduplicate. Leaf anatomy. Guard-cells not ‘grass type’. Hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the gynoecium (via septal nectaries). Entomophilous, or ornithophilous, or pollinated by unusual means.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences scapiflorous; terminal; several scapes, exceeding leaves; inflorescence a panicle of many-flowered 1-sided racemes. Flowers pedicellate (short); ebracteate; ebracteolate; somewhat irregular (D), or very irregular (APB); when irregular, zygomorphic; 3 merous; cyclic; tricyclic, or tetracyclic. Perigone tube present. Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6 (in 1 whorl); 1 -whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls; green (inside, due to green hairs), or black (outside, due to black plumose hairs). Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 6. Androecial members adnate; all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6; all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth, or diplostemonous; near the top of the tube; alterniperianthial. Filaments appendiculate, or not appendiculate. Anthers basifixed; versatile, or non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; appendaged (small, apical). Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; when 3, partially joined; attenuate from the ovary, or from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical; much longer than the ovary at anthesis. Stigmas 1; capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 1 per locule; non-arillate; orthotropous to hemianatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; a schizocarp (each locule and seed falls entire); 3 celled; 1 seeded (per locule). Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds winged, or wingless. Cotyledons 1. Testa without phytomelan.
Etymology. From the Latin Macropus, zoological name for a kangaroo; common name-black kangaroo paw.