Sisyrinchium L.
Sp.Pl. 2:954 (1753)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Sisyrinchium L.

Scientific Description
J. Gathe, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Iridaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs (small, tufted); evergreen, or deciduous. Annual, or perennial (evergreen). Leaves basal, or basal and cauline. Plants with a basal concentration of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems cylindrical (rarely), or oval in section, or flattened (sometimes winged). Rhizomatous (in perennial species may lack a perennating organ). Helophytic to xerophytic. Leaves alternate; distichous; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves foetid, or without marked odour; edgewise to the stem, or with ‘normal’ orientation; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat, or solid; linear, or lanceolate; linear (to ensiform); parallel-veined; without cross-venules; open or closed sheaths. Leaves eligulate; without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaves with a persistent basal meristem, and basipetal development. Leaf anatomy. 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, or absent. Nectar secretion from the perianth (from nectaries at the tepal bases). Entomophilous, or ornithophilous, or anemophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes (corymbose or thyrsoid), or in panicles. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences terminal; inflorescence axis branched; inflorescence of 1-several rhipidia each with 2–6 flowers; spatheate (2, opposite, leaf-like, herbaceous, flowers exserted). Flowers pedicellate (long, slender); bracteate (1 at the base of each pedicel, imbricate); bracteolate (concealed by spathes); small to large; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Perigone tube present. Free hypanthium very short. Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6; 2 -whorled; isomerous; petaloid; without spots, or spotted; similar in the two whorls, or different in the two whorls; white, or yellow, or violet, or blue. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 3. Androecial members adnate; all equal; free of one another, or coherent; when united, 1 - adelphous; 1 -whorled (representing the outer whorl). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 3; all more or less similar in shape; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth to isomerous with the perianth; symmetrically arranged on the perianth tube, at the base of and opposite the the outer segments; alterniperianthial (opposite the outer perianth lobes). Anthers dorsifixed, or basifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium partly petaloid, or non-petaloid; syncarpous; synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 3 locular. The ‘odd’ carpel anterior. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 3. Placentation axile. Ovules 20–50 per locule (numerous); arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal (from the apex). Fruit 3 celled; 20–100 seeded (many). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 1 (coleoptile-like). Embryo straight (small). Testa without phytomelan.

Etymology. From the Greek name for the barbary nut, a species of Gynandiris.

Taxonomic Literature

  • 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 (1986). Flora of Australia. Volume 46, Iridaceae to Dioscoreaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. Canberra.