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Caespitose to rhizomatous herbs or undershrubs. Inflorescences terminal, in few-flowered contracted cymes, each with 2 spathes. Flowers actinomorphic, sessile, bluish to purple, exceptionally yellow or whitish, Tepals dimorphic, united into a long and filiform tube at the base, the inner lobes inconspicuous. Stamens 3, united into an undivided or trifid tube. Ovary cylindrical, lanate; Capsules loculicidal, included. Seeds angular or ellipsoidal.


Asia-Tropical, Australasia: Tasmania (Tasmania present)
Australia and Tasmania (12 spp) and Malesia (1 sp.).


In sterile state the habit ofPatersonia is strikingly resembling that of the sedge genus Machaerina. A specimen mentioned by WENT f. () as Pater sonia from Mt Goliath (DE KOCK 50) belongs to Machaerina, as corroborated anatomically by Dr P. BAAS.


KER-GAWL. 1810: Prod. Nov. Holl.: 304
BTH. 1875 – In: Fl. Austr.: 400
GEERINCK 1974 – In: Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg.: 41