A family of monocotyledonous (see monocotyledon) herbs that are close to Liliaceae in the structure of the trimerous flowers, but these are small and inconspicuous, with tiny, chaffy perianth segments, and adapted to wind pollination. The leaves are long and narrow, and either grass-like or nearly cylindrical in form. They are of little economic value but are important ecologically, especially in poorly drained areas. There are 10 genera, with some 325 species, of cosmopolitan distribution, but centred in temperate zones.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.