Primary tabs



Erect, stemless, rhizomatous herbs. Leaves basal, linear or lanceolate, sessile, the veins of the decayed bases persisting as fibres at the base of the plant. Inflorescence a raceme or spike. Flowers solitary in the axils of the bracts, with a single bracteole. Ovary half-inferior, 3-celled; Fruit a capsule; Seeds oblong.


Asia present, Asia-Temperate: Taiwan (Taiwan present), Asia-Tropical: Borneo (Sabah present), Gajolands present, Himalayas present, Japan present, Mt Kinabalu present, N. Luzon present, N. Sumatra present, North America present, Westcoast Res present, high mountains of the Philippines present, southern China present
North America (few spp.) and eastern Asia, from Japan to southern China (also Taiwan) and the Himalayas, in Malesia: only on the high mountains of the Philippines (N. Luzon), Sabah (Mt Kinabalu) and N. Sumatra (Gajolands and Westcoast Res.).
There are possibly fewer than 15 spp., mostly in Asia, but Hara l.c. estimates the number at c. 30.


Krause 1930 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 15a: 378
Franchet in Morot 1896 – In: J. de Bot.: 178, 195
Hook.f. 1892 – In: Fl. Br. Ind.: 264
Linne 1756 – In: Amoen. Acad.: 11
Hara 1967 – In: J. Jap. Bot.: 312
Krause 1930 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 15a: 260
Linne 1754: Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 149