Hypoxis spp.
Family: Hypoxidaceae
Hypoxis image
Patrick Alexander  
Herbs, perennial, scapose, glabrous or sparsely to densely pubescent, often pilose, pubescence including at least some irregularly stellate trichomes, rhizomatous or cormose. Stems subterranean, usually vertical, fleshy. Leaves grasslike; blade linear to setaceous. Scape usually shorter than leaves. Inflorescences depauperate racemes or umbels, borne singly in leaf axils, bracteate. Flowers: tepals 6, spreading, distinct, often greenish abaxially, yellow adaxially, outer usually ± pilose abaxially; anthers 6, spreading, shortly connate at bases; ovary inferior, usually densely pubescent to pilose, sometimes glabrate; style erect. Fruits capsular, crowned by persistent flower parts throughout maturation. Seeds (5-)10-50 per capsule, ± globose, hilum and micropyle prominent, surfaces sharply to bluntly muricate or with rounded pebbling, sometimes with iridescent, membranous coat. Most species of Hypoxis are in southern Africa. The key to flowering plants presented below will work for most specimens; some specimens have intermediate characteristics and are impossible to identify without seeds. When mature seeds are available, identifications should be confirmed by examination of the seed characters. Relationships among the species in the flora are uncertain and will remain so until a better understanding of the primarily African H. angustifolia complex is reached. Therefore, species are treated here in alphabetical order.