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Family :


Division :



Perennial, rhizomatous herbs, stemmed or acaulescent. Leaves distichous, linear or oblong-elliptic, midrib prominent, petiole sheathing basally. Inflorescence spike or panicle or head, sometimes scapose, bracts each subtending a pair of flowers or a cincinnus of flowers. Flowers bisexual, asymmetric, sepals 3, distinct, petals 3, connate. Stamens 2-whorled, outer representing 1-2 petaloid staminodes, inner representing 1 fertile stamen and 1-2 petaloid staminodes, fertile stamen with 1-celled anther, dehiscent  vertically. Carpels 3, united, forming a trilocular ovary, placentation axile, ovules 1 per locule, style terminal, stigma 1, often truncate. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, or berry-like and fleshy, but dehiscent. Seeds 1-3, usually arillate.

Key to the Genus

Serial Key Reference
1a. Ovary apparently 1- celled and 1- ovuled, with 2 small, rudimentary empty cells Maranta
1b. Ovary 3-celled, 3-ovuled 2
2a. Stems with terminal, panicled, scattered flowers; bracts and bracteoles deciduous Schumannianthus
2b. Stems with lateral, clustered heads of flowers; bracts and bracteoles persistent 3
3a. Bracts numerous, spirally arranged, tan, red-purple, or green, leathery; sepals slightly shorter or longer corolla tube Phrynium
3b. Bracts 6-8, distichous, green, herbaceous; sepals less than 1/3 as long as corolla tube Stachyphrynium