Common name. Tailflower. Family Solanaceae.
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs; resinous, or not resinous. Plants spiny, or unarmed. Stem internodes solid. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves alternate (sometimes clustered); spiral; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery, or fleshy; petiolate, or subsessile, or sessile; non-sheathing; gland-dotted; aromatic, or foetid; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire, or crenate (crenulate-serrulated), or dentate (rarely). Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present, or absent; glandular hairs absent, or present; complex hairs present, or absent. Complex hairs clavate. Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous; from a single cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary (rarely), or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes (AP), or in racemes (APB), or in panicles (or panicle-like). The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate (APB), or ebracteate (opposite pair); small to medium-sized; fragrant; regular (P), or somewhat irregular (APB). The floral asymmetry involving the androecium. Flowers 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; blunt-lobed; campanulate, or cupuliform, or cyathiform; regular; persistent; non-accrescent. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous. Corolla lobes markedly shorter than the tube to markedly longer than the tube. Corolla contorted and plicate; campanulate, or funnel-shaped, or tubular; regular; white, or cream, or yellow (regardless of colour the tube has dark striations, or purple or green striations). Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 4, or 5. Androecial members adnate (epipetalous, on the tube); markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes (sometimes). Staminodes 1. Stamens 4. Staminal insertion near the base of the corolla tube. Stamens all inserted at the same level; remaining included; didynamous, or tetradynamous; all more or less similar in shape; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; oppositisepalous (at the base of the corolla tube). Filaments appendiculate (inconsistently lobed). Anthers connivent, or separate from one another; dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse; unilocular, or bilocular; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed in aggregates, or shed as single grains. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious to eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Gynoecium oblique. Ovary sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical; not becoming exserted. Stigmas 1; very shortly 2 - lobed, or 1 - lobed; capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules (3–)10–50 per locule (i.e. to ‘many’); non-arillate; anatropous, or hemianatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; not spinose (smooth); dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules septicidal and valvular. Fruit 2 celled (usually); 20–100 seeded (usually numerous). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily, or not oily. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight, or straight to curved.
Special features. Corolla tube exceeding the calyx (mostly), or not exceeding the calyx.
Etymology. From the Greek for "flower" and "a tapering rod"; refers to the narrow corolla-lobes.