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By Aaron Goldberg

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Chemistry: Steroid saponins sometimes present; tannin and mucilage common; alkaloids absent. -Perennial herbs or rarely woody plants often of dry habitats, and often epiphyticin moist habitats, sometimes rhizomatousor stoloniferous;hairs characteristically peltate shield-like scales with a uniseriate stalk, functioning to conserve and absorb water, rarely other types also present; raphides and silica present; xylem vessel perforation plates usually scalariform,sometimes simple in the roots, vessels sometimes absent from the stem and leaves; leaves mostly in a rosette, spirally arranged, d y distichous, liguliform.

Of 9 flower, pistil, c, Gconoma rubescens 9 flower, pistil end staminode, staminode. pistil, Attdea phalerata 9 flower, pistil and staminodal cup, d flower, stamens, stamen (enlarged)(after Le Maout and Decaisne, Baillon, Manius). s. s. 8. S. of P fruit (after Baillon, Martius). 5 times longer than wide, lateral or oblique, basal or above the middle; endosperm copious, often very hard, with cellulose, oil and aleuron, but starch absent. Chromosomes: x = (8-10),13-18,(19), especially 14,16,18. Composition: -220 genera, -3000 species.

S. of inflorescence(after B d m . Martius). 0 times longer than wide; endosperm copious or rarely lacking in the mature seed (Melocannu),starchy, sometimesalso oily, usually with a protein layer too. Chromosomes: x = 3-21, especially 7-10, monocentric. Composition: -600 genera, -8OOO species. Distribution: Cosmopolitan and widespread, dominant in prairie, savanna and other open formations, less common in shady,wooded habitats, more common in dry than wet habitats. B The order is monotypic. Chemistry: Noteworthy for their seed-fats.

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