Curculigo Gaertn.
Fruct.Sem.Pl. 1:63, t. 16, fig. 11. (1788)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Curculigo Gaertn.

Scientific Description
J. Gathe and Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Hypoxidaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs (tufted). Perennial. Leaves basal, or cauline. Bulbaceous, or rhizomatous, or tuberous. Mesophytic. Leaves alternate (clustered); tristichous; sessile (leaves sometimes constricted an pseudopetiolate); sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves with ‘normal’ orientation; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat, or folded (complicate or more or less plicate or arched); linear, or lanceolate; oblong (narrowly), or linear; parallel-veined (or prominently veined); without cross-venules; sheathing, base more or less persisting as a tunic. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins serrate. Leaves with a persistent basal meristem, and basipetal development. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (or glabrescent). Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite, or functionally male and functionally female, or hermaphrodite and functionally male. Unisexual flowers present, or absent. Plants hermaphrodite, or monoecious, or andromonoecious (commonly). The unisexual flowers when monoecious, aggregated in different parts of the same inflorescence. Floral nectaries absent (nectaries lacking).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes (spike-like), or in spikes, or in heads. The terminal inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences scapiflorous; terminal, or axillary; peduncle short; scape very short, leafless, arising from the corm; inflorescence shorter than the leaves, 1–10 flowered, 1–3 basal flowers bisexual with the flowers above male; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts. Flowers pedicellate, or sessile (more or less sessile); bracteate (1 per flower, lowest spathe-like and sheathing, attenuate); ebracteolate; regular; 3 merous; cyclic. Perigone tube present. Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6; 2 -whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls; yellow; persistent (patent). Fertile stamens present, or absent. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 6. Androecial members adnate; united with the gynoecium; all equal; free of one another; 2 -whorled (3+3). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6 (in 2 whorls); all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth, or reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; at the base of the perianth lobes at the mouth of the tube. Anthers dorsifixed, or basifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 2–3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 2–3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; free to partially joined; apical. Stigmas 3; 2–3 - lobed. Placentation axile. Ovules few, many; arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous, or hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule, or capsular-indehiscent. Capsules splitting irregularly. Fruit few. Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily. Testa encrusted with phytomelan.

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.