False Hellebore Family

Perennial fibrous-rooted rhizomatous or bulbous herbs. Leaves simple, entire, linear to broadly ovate, basal or cauline. Flowers radially symmetrical, bisexual, numerous, in terminal scapose racemes or panicles.Tepals 3+3, free; individual flower stalks not articulated. Stamens 6, free or attached to the base of the tepals. Ovary superior to inferior, 3-chambered with numerous ovules. Fruit a many-seeded, dry dehiscent capsule. Seeds yellowish to brown.

John Conran.

Closely related families include the Colchicaceae and Trilliaceae.

12 genera from the temperate Northern Hemisphere, one extending to S America.

Most genera are poisonous, and several are used medicinally or as a source of insecticide.

Plants with relatively small, unspotted, 6-parted, non-articulated flowers with persistent tepals and basally attached, outward-facing anthers and capsular fruits with brown seeds.

Zomlefer (1997).

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Melanthiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Liliales
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Toxicoscordion
genus        Trillium L.
genus        Veratrum L.
genus        Zigadenus Mich.