Bulbous herbs with erect slender terete usually branched stems and elongated linear folded leaves. Flowers rather large, in our species blue or purple, solitary or several together, fugacious, subtended by 2 herbaceous bracts. Perianth of 6 spreading nearly equal obovate segments, distinct nearly or quite to the summit of the ovary. Filaments more or less united; anthers short; style short, its branches alternate with the anthers, each slenderly 2-parted; stigmas small, terminal. Capsule oblong, ovoid or obovoid, loculicidally dehiscent at the summit. [Greek, referring to the thread-like style-branches.]

About 10 species, natives of America. Besides the following, some 3 others occur in the southern United States. Type species: Nemastylis coelestlna Nutt.

2 Nemastylis Nutt Trans Am Phil Soc II 5 157 1833 1341

1. Nemastylis Acuta (Bart.) Herb. Northern Nemastylis

Fig. 1341

Ixia acuta Bart. Fl. N. A. 2: 89. pl. 66. 1822. Nemastylis gemmiflora Nutt. Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. (II.)

5: 157. 1833-37. Nemastylis acuta Herb. Bot. Mag. pl. 3779. 1839-40.

Bulb dark colored, ovoid, scaly, 1' or less long. Stem 1°-2° tall, bearing 3 or 4 leaves, 3'-10' long, 1 1/2"-2 1/2" wide; bracts lanceolate, each pair subtending 1 or 2 flowers; flowers light blue or purple, 1-2' broad; pedicels slender, rather shorter than the bracts; perianth-segments oblong-obovate, obtuse; style-branches exserted between the free parts of the filaments, their filiform divisions 2"-3" long; capsule obovoid, 5"-6" high, 3"-4" in diameter.

On prairies, Tennessee to Missouri. Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. April-June.

Nemastylis coelestina Nutt., ranging from Georgia to Arkansas and Texas, may occur in southern Missouri; it differs from N. acuta in having more broadly obovate perianth-lobes.