Agavaceae

Plants in the Agavaceae or the Agave family have narrow and often thick or fleshy leaves sometimes with prickly teeth on the margins which are usually clustered near the base of the stem. Several genera within Agavaceae grow from rhizomes. Flowers are variable with 6 stamens and a superior to inferior ovary. Some genera once included in Hyacinthaceae and Liliaceae are now proposed to belong here such as Camassia, Chlorogalum, and Leucocrinum. Hesperocallis is a sister to this group and is sometimes included here and sometimes in its own family, Hesperocallidaceae.

The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II, 2003 suggests that the Anthericaceae family could optionally be included in this family or in the Asparagaceae family. Genera with wiki pages in this group are: Anthericum, Arthropodium, Chlorophytum, Echeandia, Pasithea, Thysanotus, and Trichopetalum.

Recent DNA analyses by a number of different researchers appears to have confirmed the classification made by Dahlgren, Clifford, & Yeo (1985) of a family entirely contained in the Americas and restricted to the genera Agave, Beschorneria, Furcraea, Hesperaloe, Hesperoyucca, Manfreda, Polianthes, Prochnyanthes, and Yucca. Genera that are linked (appearing in bold blue type) are mostly or wholly rhizomatous or bulbous genera. Those genera that are rhizomatous are polycarpic while the non-rhizomatous genera are almost all monocarpic (dying after flowering). The genus Bravoa is now considered to be part of the genus Polianthes. The family Anthericaceae is shown to be a sister group to Agavaceae, while Camassia, Chlorogalum, and Hosta appear to be at the base of, and perhaps belong to, Agavaceae as well.


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Page last modified on June 17, 2015, at 04:56 PM