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Genus :


Family :



Perennial herbs, often with tuberous rhizomes. Leaves several, radical, sessile or petiolate, elongated, linear-lanceolate, plicate, leathery or papery. Flowering stem axillary. Inflorescence racemose, or flowers solitary, bisexual or unisexual, scape short, often subterranean. Perianth rotate, 6-partite, segments spreading, often yellow. Stamens 6, inserted at base of perianth segments, filaments short, sometimes subequalling anthers. Carpels 3, ovary inferior, 3-celled, produced upwards into a long beak or stipe, style columnar, stigmas 3-lobed. Fruit a berry, indehiscent. Seeds small, subglobose, often striped.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Flowers in distichous spikes on scapes, hidden by the leaf-sheaths; leaves small, linear. Slender herbs C. orchioides
1b. Flowers on scapes projecting beyond the leaf-sheaths; leaves large, lanceolate, plicate. Large stout herbs C. latifolia