Family: Nartheciaceae

asphodel family

Species in the Nartheciaceae are perennial herbs growing from a thick, horizontal underground rhizome. We have only one genus and species in our region. The leaves grow from the base of the plant and overlap one another in a dense whorl. The plant produces a leafless stem (a scape) that ends in a spike of white flowers. The flowers have 6 similarly colored tepals, which are roughened by small scales, and 6 stamens. There is 1 style with a 3-lobed stigma. The fruit is a capsule with a beak. Members of this family were formerly considered to belong in the Liliaceae.

This Family’s Genera in New England:

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key