Perennial herbs with rhizomes or corms and fibrous roots; leaves basal or crowded near the stem base, distichous, with equitant, sheathing base and linear-ensiform or terete, unifacial blade. Flowering stem with few upwards gradually reduced leaves; inflorescence a terminal simple or compound spike; flowers sessile in the axils of dispersed, spathaceous bracts, bisexual, (nearly) hypogynous, zygomorphic; perianth petaloid, pale yellow or white to pink; segments 4, free or basally connate, the outer 2 median larger than the 2 lateral inner, the median upper frequently 3- or 2-cuspidate, composed of the 2 lateral outer tepals and the reduced median inner tepal; stamen solitary, anterior, its filament broad, inserted at the base of the lower tepal; anther bithecate and tetrasporangiate, basifixed to dorsifixed, straight and introrse, or curved (Philydrella), or helically twisted (Philydrum), opening by 2 longitudinal slits; staminodia usually absent; gynoecium of 3 united carpels; ovary superior, often slightly united at the base with the perianth and filament, ± zygomorphic (the median carpel often smaller), ± trilocular with axile placentas, or for the greatest part unilocular with deeply intruding parietal placentas; each placenta bearing numerous anatropous, heterotropous ovules; style simple, terminal, with a capitate, slightly trilobed stigma; septal nectaries or other nectariferous glands absent. Fruit a loculicidal, 3-valved capsule, or berrylike; seeds numerous, small; testa longitudinally or spirally striate, operculate, with enlarged chalazal cap or prolongation at micropylar and chalazal end; embryo small, straight, cylindrical, embedded in copious non-mealy endosperm containing starch, protein and oil.
Hamann, U., Kubitzki, K., 1998. Philydraceae With kind permission from Springer Science+Business Media: This work is subject to copyright. All rights reserved, whether whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, broadcasting reproduction on microfilm or in any other way, and storage in data banks. Duplication of this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the German Copyright Law of September 9, 1965, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer-Verlag. Violations are liable for prosecution under German Copyright Law.