Ecdeiocoleaceae D.F.Cutler & Airy Shaw
  • D.F.Cutler & Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 19: 495 (1965)

This taxon is accepted by WCS higher taxonomy

General Description

Evergreen, rushlike, caespitose, monoecious plants, with a villous or pubescent creeping rhizome. Culms photosynthetic, simple or with 1-3 inflorescence-bearing branches, terete, surface striate. Leaves reduced to tightly convoluted sheaths in the adult plants; sheath split to the base, usually with a mucro which may be developed into a small awn. Inflorescence of 1-few spikelets, terminating culm or inflorescence branches, glumes all or mostly fertile, either male or female at base and flower sex alternating once or twice along spikelet axis. Flowers subtended by a glossy, dark brown or black, rigid, ovate bract longer than the flower, unisexual. Perianth of 6 tepals in 2 whorls, dorsiventrally compressed, the outer 2 lateral segments conduplicate and keeled, the inner 4 more or less flat, glabrous apart from the pubescent keel. Male flowers with a minute pistillode and 4 or 6 stamens; filaments free, slender; anthers bilocular, dorsifixed, 2-lobed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Female flowers with staminodes; ovary superior, free, 2-celled with 2 or 3 bushy styluli; each locule with a solitary atropous pendulous ovule. Fruit a 3-locular capsule or a nut.

Two monotypic genera from southwestern Australia, restricted to nutrient-poor Kwongan soils.


This family is restricted to the very nutrient-poor sandy Kwongan soils of western Australia.


  • 1 Cutler, D.F. & Airy Shaw, H.K. Original publication of Ecdeiocoleaceae. (1965).
  • 2 Linder, H.P., Briggs, B.G. & Johnson, L.A.S. Ecdeiocoleaceae. Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons: Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae) 195-197 (1998).

 Information From

WCS higher taxonomy
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World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
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