Male (left) and female plants of Wurmbea dioica, copyright Murray Fagg.

Belongs within: Liliales.

The Colchicaceae are a family of perennial herbs growing from corms or rhizomes.

Characters (from here): Colchicine alkaloid present, flavones present, steroidal saponins absent; raphides absent; cuticular wax with parallel platelets; leaves conduplicate, blade with midrib (occasionally absent), base sheathing; inflorescence various, flowers axillary; tepals towards base U-shaped and folded around each stamen in bud, connate or not, sexine thick; styluli present, or style ± branched, or stigma with recurved lobes, wet or dry; ovules 2-many/carpel, ± ascending, orientation various, micropyle bistomal; antipodal cells multinucleate; capsule septicidal; seeds rounded, strophiole, sarcotesta or aril present; phlobaphene present; embryo small; chromosomes 1-16 ┬Ám long; cotyledon photosynthetic or not, bifacial (occasionally ligulate).

    |--Burchardia DS04
    |    |--B. congesta GK00
    |    |--B. monantha GK00
    |    |--B. multiflora DS04
    |    `--B. umbellata DS04
    `--+--Schelhammera multiflora DS04
       `--Wurmbea DS04
            |--W. dioica GK00
            |    |--W. d. ssp. dioica GK00
            |    `--W. d. ssp. alba GK00
            `--W. odorata KM08

Colchicaceae incertae sedis:
  Ornithoglossum calcicola P01, CV06
  Littonia P01
  Sandersonia P01
  Gloriosa superba P01, NDG98
  Colchicum P01
    |--C. autumnale Linnaeus 1753 HE80
    |--C. baytopiorum P01
    |--C. boissieri P01
    |--C. eichleri P01
    |--C. hierosolymitanum P01
    |--C. leptanthum Persson 2001 P01
    |--C. minutum P01
    |--C. munzurense Persson 1999 P01
    |--C. psaridis P01
    |--C. rausii P01
    |--C. serpentinum [incl. C. tauri] P01
    |--C. sieheanum P01
    |--C. soboliferum P01
    |--C. szovitsii P01
    `--C. trigynum P01
  Androcymbium exiguum CV06

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175–189.

[DS04] Davis, J. I., D. W. Stevenson, G. Petersen, O. Seberg, L. M. Campbell, J. V. Freudenstein, D. H. Goldman, C. R. Hardy, F. A. Michelangeli, M. P. Simmons, C. D. Specht, F. Vergara-Silva & M. Gandolfo. 2004. A phylogeny of the monocots, as inferred from rbcL and atpA sequence variation, and a comparison of methods for calculating jackknife and bootstrap values. Systematic Botany 29 (3): 467–510.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[HE80] Healy, A. J., & E. Edgar. 1980. Flora of New Zealand vol. 3. Adventive cyperaceous, petalous and spathaceous monocotyledons. P. D. Hasselberg, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[NDG98] Neal, P. R., A. Dafni & M. Giurfa. 1998. Floral symmetry and its role in plant-pollinator systems: terminology, distribution, and hypotheses. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29: 345–373.

[P01] Persson, K. 2001. A new soboliferous species of Colchicum in Turkey. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 135 (1): 85–88.

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