Perennial herbs, rhizomatous or tuberous (starchy). Indumentum of minute pluricellular hairs. Leaves all basal, alternate, spiral, pinnatifid or palmatifid or entire; petioles long, more or less sheathing. Inflorescences pedunculate, axillary. Flowers aggregated in cymose umbels, with an involucre of bracts at apex of scape, bisexual, regular, epigynous, without nectar or with relatively well-developed septal nectaries. Floral bracts numerous, thread-like, pendulous, sometimes small. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls of 3, all dark-coloured and more or less petaloid, free or often fused at base into a short tube. Stamens 6, in 2 whorls of 3, fused to the perianth-tube or to the base of tepals; filaments short, flat, somewhat petaloid; anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits. Carpels 3, fused. Ovary inferior, 6-ribbed, 1-locular, ovules 15–100, with parietal placentation. Style 1, very short, the 3 stigmatic branches often petaloid and incurved. Fruit a berry or rarely a loculicidal capsule. Seeds 10–numerous.
Occasionally grown in warm areas for the bold foliage and unusual flowers.
Inner bracts long, thread-like and pendulous; style branches undivided; placentation parietal.
1 genus and about 12 species from the tropics, especially Malesian-Pacific. Australia has 2 species.
Drenth (1972); Cronquist (1981); Mabberley (2017).
Source: (2005). Taccaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, April 2018