Helosis

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Helosis

Description

Subterranean tubers, 4-5 x 3-4 cm, giving out rhizome-like structures from which inflorescences appear at various intervals. Supraterranean, inflorescence-bearing stems 5-15 cm long and 0.5-1 cm diam., basally with 2-6 minute, triangular scales. Inflorescences ellipsoid-ovoid, 2-10 x 1-3 cm, covered by the flattened, marginally cohering, hexagonal limbs of peltate, petiolate, early deciduous bracts; each bract subtending an extremely depressed, hardly discernible branch delimitated by imaginary lines between the petioles of 4 neighbouring bracts; branch bisexual and proterogynous. Flowers embedded in a layer of thin, narrowly clavate hairs. Staminate flowers with perianth tubular below, 3-lobedwith ligulate segments; stamens 3, filaments united into a tubular column inserted in the perianth tube, anthers connate into a 9-locular synandrium. Pistillate flower with perianth adnate to ovary, 2short and broadly ligulate segments protruding above compressed ovary; styles 2, filiform, appearing above layer of hairs.

Distribution

Central and tropical South America: present Northern America: SE Brazil: present
1 species only, from Mexico throughout Central and tropical South America to SE Brazil.