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Key to Ruscaceae

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1 Plant with an upright or arching stem with alternate cauline leaves.
..2 Shrub; "leaves" (actually cladophylls) coriaceous, evergreen, glossy; [exotic, rarely naturalized]; [tribe Rusceae]
..2 Herb; leaves herbaceous, deciduous, dull or slightly glossy; [native]; [tribe Polygonatae].
....3 Inflorescence terminal, a raceme or panicle; tepals separate leaves with 3 main parallel veins, acute to acuminate at the apex; leaves acute to acuminate at the apex; foliage green, not glaucous
....3 Inflorescence of 1-several axillary flowers; tepals fused; leaves with > 7 main parallel veins, obtuse to acute at the apex; foliage blue-green, glaucous
1 Plant tufted, the leaves essentially basal (although the sheathing bases form a 'false' stem in Convallaria).
......4 Leaves 2-3, narrowly elliptic, often variegated with light and dark green; tepals fused, white, greenish, or purplish.
........5 Leaves deciduous, narrowly elliptic, the blades < 30 cm long; flowers in a raceme; the tepals not fleshy; [tribe Convallarieae]
........5 Leaves evergreen, linear-lanceolate, the blades > 40 cm long; flower either solitary, axillary, the tepals fleshy, or flowers in a raceme, the tepals not fleshy.
..........6 Leaves broadly lanceolate, ca. 6× as long as broad; flower solitary, axillary, the tepals fleshy; [tribe Convallarieae]
..........6 Leaves narrowly lanceolate or oblanceolate, ca. 12× as long as broad; flowers in a raceme, the tepals not fleshy; [tribe Dracaeneae]
......4 Leaves many, linear, not variegated with light and dark green; tepals separate (or fused basally), white or violet.
............ 7 Fruit dehiscent, dry and capsular; inflorescence a panicle or raceme, to 15 dm tall; [natives, of longleaf pine woodlands of SC, GA, and FL]; [tribe Nolineae]
............ 7 Fruit indehiscent, quickly exposing berry-like seeds with a fleshy seed coat; inflorescence spikelike, to 4 dm tall; [exotics, naturalized from horticultural plantings]; [tribe Ophiopogoneae].
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