This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(double fountain, from the pair of nectaries at the base of the perianth-segments). Liliaceae. Two species in S. Africa, with tunicated corms, simple stems and small whitish more or less tinted flowers in spikes, of little horticultural importance: perianth deciduous, polyphyllous; stamens 6, included; ovary sessile, 3-celled and 3-lobed, many-ovuled; styles 3, awl-shaped: fruit a turbinate 3-valved caps. D. ciliata, Baker. stem 6-12 in.: leaves usually 3, ciliate, the lower 4-6 in. long and lanceolate-acuminate and the upper much shorter and amplexicaul: spike 2-6 in. long, densely many-flowered; flowers whitish more or less tinged red: there are several botanical vars., differing in leaves, number and color of flowers D. triquetra, Baker. stem 12-18 in.: leaves 3, not ciliate, the lowest at base of stem and the upper near the spike (which is 1-6 in. long): flowers with numerous brown veins and 2 purple nectar-spots. B.M. 558 (as Melanthium triquetrum). The species are treated as greenhouse perennials.