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Xanthorrhoeaceae


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(grass-trees)

A family of monocotyledonous (see monocotyledon), stout, woody, perennial plants with rhizomes, which are often xerophytic. They are tall, with few branches, and simple, linear, sheathing leaves. The regular flowers are bisexual or unisexual, on dioecious plants, and are held in panicles, spikes, or clusters. The perianth comprises 2 whorls of 3 segments, and is usually dry and papery. There are 2 whorls of 3 stamens, the inner whorl usually attached to the flower segments. The superior ovary is of 3 fused carpels, with 3 locules containing 1 or more ovules. The fruit is a capsule, or a single-seeded nut. The plants are often components of dry, open Eucalyptus scrub or woodland. There are 9 genera, with 60 species, of which 7 genera are endemic (see endemism) to Australia.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.


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