Scapose herbs from a small membranous-coated corm. Leaves basal, narrowly linear. Flowers rather large, blue, in a terminal erect several-bracted umbel. Perianth funnelform, withering-persistent, the tube about as long as the 6 oblong lobes. Stamens 6, inserted on the throat of the perianth; filaments dilated, united to the middle or above into an erect crown-like tube with toothed lobes alternating with the linear-oblong anthers. Ovary sessile, 3-celled; ovules several in each cavity; style filiform; stigmas 3-grooved. Capsule membranous, 3-angled, loculicidal. Seeds few, large, oval, black. [Greek, referring to the crown.]

Two species, natives of the southwestern United States; the following is the type of the genus.

5 Androstephium Torn Bot Mex Bound Surv 218 1859 1254

1. Androstephium Coeruleum (Scheele) Greene. Androstephium

Fig. 1254

Milla coerulea Scheele, Linnaea 25: 260. 1852. Androstephium violaceum Torr. Bot. Mex. Bound. Surv.

219. 1859. Androstephium coeruleum Greene, Pittonia 2: 57. 1890.

Corm subglobose, less than 1' in diameter. Scape 2'-8' tall, simple; leaves 1"-2" wide, half terete, equalling the scape, or sometimes longer, bracts of the umbel 2-4, scarious. lanceolate, acuminate, persistent, shorter than the pedicels; umbel 2-7-flowered; pedicels rather stout, 1/4-1 1/2 long; perianth 10"-14" long, the lobes about as long as the tube; filament-tube about 5" long, its lobes exceeding the anthers; style about as long as the filament-tube; capsule 4"-6" high; seeds nearly 3" long, very thin, narrowly winged.

Prairies, Kansas to Texas. March-April.