Perennial herbs, with creeping or horizontal rootstocks, fibrous roots, erect simple stems and linear grass-like basal leaves, those of the stem short and distant. Flowers small, greenish-yellow, perfect, borne in a terminal raceme. Pedicels bracted at base and usually bearing a small bractlet. Perianth-segments persistent, linear or linear-lanceolate, obscurely 3-5-nerved, glandless. Stamens 6; filaments subulate, woolly; anthers linear-oblong, erect, introrse. Ovary sessile; style very short or none; stigma slightly 3-lobed. Capsule oblong, loculicidally dehiscent, many-seeded, the linear seeds tailed at each end. [Greek, signifying without step, the plants reputed to cause lameness in cattle.]

Four known species, natives of the northern hemisphere. Besides the following, another occurs in northwestern America. Type species: Anthericum ossifragum L.

3 Abama Adans Fam Pi 2 47 511 1763 Narthecium Juss 1223

1. Abama Americana (Ker) Morong. American Bog-Asphodel

Fig. 1223

Narthecium amcricatium Ker, Bot. Mag. pl. 1505. 1812. Narthecium ossifragum var. americanum A. Gray, Man. Ed.

5, 536. 1867. Abama americana Morong, Mem. Torr. Club 5: 109. 1894.

Glabrous, stems wiry, stiff, erect, io'-i8' tall.. Basal leaves 3'-8' long, 1" wide or less, finely 7-9-nerved; lower stem leaves 1/2'-2' long, the upper much smaller; raceme 1'-2' long, dense; perianth-segments narrowly linear, 2."-3' long, slightly exceeding the stamens; filaments white-woolly; pedicels ascending, 3"-4" long in fruit; capsule about 5" long, 1" in diameter at the middle, erect, nearly twice as long as the perianth-segments, tapering to a subulate beak; seeds, including the appendages, 3 -4" long.

In pine barren swamps, southern New Jersey and Delaware. June-Sept. Yellow- or Moor-grass. Rosa-solis.

XEROPHYLLUM Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 210. 1803.

Tall perennial herbs, with thick short woody rootstocks, simple erect leafy stems, the leaves narrowly linear, rough-margined, the upper ones shorter than the lower. Flowers very numerous, medium-sized, white, in a large dense terminal raceme, the lower ones first expanding. Perianth withering-persistent, its segments oblong or ovate, 5-7-nerved, spreading, glandless. Stamens 6, rather shorter than the perianth-segments; filaments subulate, glabrous; anthers oblong. Ovary sessile, 3-grooved; styles 3, filiform, reflexed or recurved, stigmatic along the inner side; ovules only 2-4 in each cell. Capsule ovoid, 3-grooved, loculicidally and sometimes also septicidally dehiscent. Seeds 5, oblong, not at all appendaged, or only minutely so. [Greek, signifying a dry leaf.]

Three species, the following, which is the type of the genus, the others of western America.

1 Abama Americana Ker Morong American Bog Asphodel 1224

1. Xerophyllum Asphodeloides (L.) Nutt. Turkey-Beard

Fig. 1224

Helonias asphodeloides L. Sp. PI. Ed. 2, 485. 1762. X. seiifolium Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 211. 1803. Xerophyllum asphodeloides Nutt. Gen. 1: 235. 1818.

Stem stout, becoming stiff, 22°-5° tall, densely leafy below and at the base, sparsely leafy above. Leaves very narrowly linear, slightly dilated at the base, the lower 6'-18' long, 1" wide or less, except at the broader base, the upper successively shorter and narrower; flowering raceme 3'-6' long, 2'-3' in diameter, its summit conic; flowering pedicels spreading, filiform, 9"-i" long, in fruit erect; perianth-segments ovate-oblong, obtuse, about 3' long; styles rather longer than the ovary; capsule ellipsoid, 2" long, 1"-1 1/2" in diameter; seeds mostly 2 in each cell.

In dry pine barrens, southern New Jersey to eastern Tennessee and Florida. May-July. Ascends to 5000 ft. in North Carolina.