Gymnosiphon Blume
  • Blume, Enum. Pl. Javae 1: 29 (1827)

This taxon is accepted by WCS higher taxonomy

General Description

Annual herbs, saprophytic, lacking chlorophyll. Adventitious roots arising from rhizome. Imbricating basal leaves clustered at apex of rhizome. Stems erect, usually unbranched, with few alternate, ovate, triangular or lanceolate, sessile scales sometimes containing suppressed buds. Inflorescence a lax or congested, branched cyme, terminal, few-many-flowered, rarely reduced to one flower; cyme branches up to 7 cm. long. Flowers whitish, actinomorphic, small, sessile or pedicellate. Perianth tubular, not winged, circumscissile a little below the base of the tepals after flowering; 3 outer tepals often with lateral lobing, triangular-ovate, broad, larger than the 3 inner tepals, which are very small or absent. Stamens 3, inserted near the mouth of the perianth-tube below the inner tepals; anthers sessile, oblong to globose, dehiscing transversely; connective broad, short and thin, not appendiculate but sometimes apiculate. Ovary ovoid or globose, 1-locular, with 3 parietal placentas, each placenta having 2 apical globose glands; style entire or trifid, long or shortly lobed, slim, reaching insertion-point of stamens; upper part of style deciduous with the upper part of perianth; stigma terminal, sometimes producing long filiform tails. Capsule subglobose, ellipsoid or club-shaped, crowned by the persistent perianth-base, dehiscing apically or longitudinally. Seeds ovoid or subglobose, reticulate, rugose without appendages.

Perianth-tube elongated, not winged, circumscissile a short distance above the ovary; limb with the 3 outer lobes wide, induplicato-valvate, the 3 inner small or wanting. Anthers 3, subsessile near the throat of the perianth, with 4 globose cells. Ovary inferior, 1-celled; placentas 3 parietal, sometimes bifid. Ovules very numerous. Capsule globose, crowned by the persistent base of the perianth-tube. Seeds very small; testa inappendiculate. —Weak annual herbs, sometimes hyaline. Stem erect, usually simple. Leaves reduced to small scales. Flowers small in terminal, lax or congested cymes.


Enum. Pl. Jav. 1: 29 (1827); G.P. 3(2): 458 (1883); C.H. Wright in F.T.A. 7: 11 (1897); Jonker in Med. Bot. Mus. Rijksuniv. Utrecht 51: 168 (1938); H. Perrier in Fl. Madag. 48: 3 (1946); Hepper in F.W.TA, ed. 2, 3: 176 (1968)

Benth. et Hook. f. Gen. Pl. iii. 458.

Enum. Pl. Jav. 1: 29 (1827); F.T.A. 7: 11; Jonker, Monogr. Burmanniac. 168 (1938).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • South Tropical Africa Malawi
  • Zambia
  • West Tropical Africa Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Gabon
  • Zaire
  • Western Indian Ocean Madagascar
  • Asia-Temperate Eastern Asia Taiwan
  • Asia-Tropical Indo-China Thailand
  • Malesia Borneo
  • Jawa
  • Lesser Sunda Is.
  • Malaya
  • Sulawesi
  • Sumatera
  • Papuasia New Guinea
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Northeast
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Pacific Northwestern Pacific Caroline Is.
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil South
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Caribbean Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Leeward Is.
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Venezuelan Antilles
  • Windward Is.
  • Central America Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru


  • 1 Govaerts, R., Wilkin, P. & Saunders, R.M.K. (2007). World Checklist of Dioscoreales. Yams and their allies: 1-65. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 3 E.J. Cowley (1988) Burmanniaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa 0 (0)
  • 4 F.n. Hepper (1968) Burmanniaceae. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3 (1)
  • 5 (By C. H. Wright.) (1898) Burmanniaceæ. Flora of Tropical Africa 7 (0)

 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet;
Flora of Tropical Africa
Flora of Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet;
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet;
WCS higher taxonomy
  • D All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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