1Leaves reduced to small, non-photosynthetic scales.
1'Leaves usually well-developed, always green (sometimes absent when the plant is in flower).
2Stem branched, bearing green cladodes
2'Stem simple. Small echlorophyllous saprophyte.
3Anthers 1-celled. Plants usually woody and often prickly climbers (Heterosmilax, Rhipogonum, Smilax)
3'Anthers 2-celled. Plants erect or herbaceous, not prickly, rarely woody climbers.
4Plants dioecious.
4'Flowers bisexual.
5Panicle glabrous or scaberulous. Flowers clustered at all or most nodes (Lomandra)
5'Panicle silvery-scaly. Flowers solitary at each node
6Foliage leaves caespitose, usually basal or radical.
6'Foliage leaves distributed at intervals along the stem.
7Inner perianth segments fringed
7'Perianth segments not fringed.
8Inflorescence a simple umbel. Bulbous
8'Inflorescence a raceme, spike or panicle. Plant rhizomatous.
9Flowers sessile. Anthers sessile or subsessile on the perianth.
9'Flowers pedicelled. Filaments usually well-developed.
10Fruit a capsule
10'Fruit fleshy.
11Style distinct. Stigma simple or indistinctly lobed.
11'Style absent. Stigmas distinctly 3
12Seeds fleshy and exposed soon after the commencement of their development.
12'Seeds retained in the fruit until mature.
13Filaments free of one another. Corona absent
13'Filaments connate or anthers sessile on a staminal corona.
14Anthers borne on a distinct staminal corona
14'Anthers borne on connate filaments
15Anthers dorsifixed.
15'Anthers basifixed.
16Ovary half-inferior
16'Ovary fully superior.
17Fruit a capsule. Stems to 5 cm long and 2-3 mm diameter (Romnalda).
17'Fruit a berry. Stems woody and usually long (Dracaena, incl. Pleomele).
18Fruit a berry
18'Fruit a capsule.
19Base of anthers with a papillose appendage. Pedicels 12-20 mm. Outer perianth segments distinctly broader than inner ones
19'Base of anthers without appendages. Pedicels 3-12 mm. Perianth segments equal.
20Perianth spirally twisting after anthesis, blue
20'Perianth segments persistent, but not twisted after flowering, white to green
21Plant with scaly bulb. Flowers 10-25 cm long
21'Plant with a rhizome, corm or tuber. Flowers up to at most 9 cm.
22Stem(s) woody. Venation reticulate (Eustrephus, Geitonoplesium)
22'Stem(s) herbaceous. Venation parallel.
23Style simple, or if 3 lobed the filaments forming a corona.
23'Style branched, sometimes to the base.
24Fruit a berry. Inflorescence a panicle
24'Fruit consisting of 1-3 nutlets. Inflorescence consisting of umbels each on a winged peduncle
25Flowers large, 5-9 cm. At least some leaves ending in a coiled tendril.
25'Flowers smaller, up to 3 cm. Leaves never ending in a tendril.
26Filaments expanded to form a corona. Fruit a berry
26'Filaments free, sometimes connivent.
27Fruit a berry
27'Fruit a capsule.
28Pedicels not articulated. Anthers dorsifixed.
28'Pedicels articulated. Anthers basifixed
29Rootstock a rhizome. Style branches bifid
29'Rootstock a corm. Style branches simple