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Family :


Division :



Herbs or undershrubs or shrubs, often arborescent. Leaves simple, lanceolate, occurs in dense rosettes at the end of a woody short stem, firm-succulent, appear long and pointed, often with a hardened spine on the end, often prickly along the margins. Inflorescence of dense racemes or panicles, often on a thick scape. Flowers bisexual or unisexual. Perianth segments 6, free or united, in 2 cycles of 3, all petaloid. Stamens 6, adnate to the perianth lobes, anthers 2-locular, dorsifixed. Ovary superior or inferior, trilocular, ovules 1-many in each locule, superpsed. Fruit a capsule or a berry, loculicidal. Seeds flattened.

Key to the Genus

Serial Key Reference
1a Ovary superior 2
1b Ovary inferior 3
2a Ovules solitary 4
2b Ovules numerous 5
3a Inflorescence a spike; flowers zygomorphic Polianthes
3b Inflorescence a spike; flowers actinomorphic Agave
4a Stems present; fruit a berry Dracaena
4b Stems absent or very short; fruit a coccus Sansevieria
5a Flowers large, tepals almost free; fruit a capsule or berry Yucca
5b Flowers comparatively smaller; tepals connate at base; fruit a berry Cordyline