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Hymenocallis Salisbury. Spider-lily.

Key to Hymenocallis

A genus of about 50 species, from s. North America and the West Indies south to ne. South America. Publications in recent decades by Smith and co-workers (e.g. Smith & Garland 1996, 2003; Smith & Flory 1990; Smith & Flory in FNA (2002a) have revolutionized our understanding of southeastern United States Hymenocallis.

ID notes: Hymenocallis can be distinguished vegetatively from Crinum by its distichous (vs. spiral) leaf arrangement and leaf margins entire (vs. finely toothed). "The species in the genus Hymenocallis are hairless, perennial herbs with large, onion-like bulbs and often underground stems (rhizomes). Their strap-shaped, somewhat fleshy leaves all arise directly from the bulb in two ranks. These leaves are erect or arching, bright green to bluish-green and deciduous or evergreen. Each plant sends up a single, two-edged or sometimes roundish, leafless stalk (scape), at the top of which are several membranous leaf-like bracts underneath one to sixteen sessile, fragrant flowers. At the base of each flower sits a green ovary. Within the ovary are three chambers (locules), each containing one or more ovules (structures that become seeds). Above the ovary, a more or less slender floral tube divides at its tip into six long and narrow, white or pale green tepals (three petals and three sepals). Above the tepals, a delicate white membranous staminal cup joins the bases of the six long, thin stamens." (Garland, Smith, & Anderson 2013)

Ref: Garland, Smith, & Anderson (2013); Meerow & Snijman In Kubitzki (1998a); Smith & Flory (1990); Smith & Flory (2002) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2002a); Smith & Garland (2003); Smith & Garland (2009); Ward (2012a). Show full citations.

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷


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