Burmannia L.
Sp.Pl. 2:287 (1753)

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

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Burmanniaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. ‘Normal’ plants, or plants of very peculiar form (some being tiny saprophytes); sometimes vegetatively almost filamentous, or fungoid. Leaves well developed, or much reduced (in saprophytic species). Autotrophic, or saprophytic. Annual, or perennial; plants with a basal concentration of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Leaves alternate; spiral, or distichous; ‘herbaceous’, or membranous; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves simple. Leaf blades entire; linear; parallel-veined; without cross-venules. Vegetative anatomy. Plants without silica bodies. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent. 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, or from the top or sides of the ovary).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’, or solitary (rarely); in cymes. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal. Flowers pedicellate, or sessile; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Perigone tube present (tubular to trigonous, 6-lobed; tube usually with 3 prominent wings running from the base of the ovary to the lobes). Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6, or 3; 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled; isomerous; petaloid; different in the two whorls (with the inner lobes smaller or absent); blue, or white, or yellow. Androecium 3. Androecial members adnate (to the tube); free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 3; isomerous with the perianth; oppositiperianthial. Anthers introrse to latrorse; tetrasporangiate; appendaged (connectives with 2 apical crests and/or a hanging, median, basal spur), or unappendaged. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 3 celled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; partly inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 3 locular. Styles 1; unbranched or 3-branched at apex; apical. Stigmas 3. Placentation axile. Ovules 10–50 per locule (? — ‘many’); anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules splitting irregularly (or dehiscing by lateral slits). Fruit 15–100 seeded (‘many’). Seeds ovoid or ellipsoid; scantily endospermic; winged. Embryo rudimentary at the time of seed release.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland. Northern Botanical Province.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.