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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Liliaceae

17. Scoliopus Torrey, Pacif. Railr. Rep. 4(5): 145, plate 22. 1857.

Slink pod, fetid adder’s-tongue, slink-lily [Greek skolios, crooked, and -pous, footed, alluding to the tortuous, recurved pedicels]

Frederick H. Utech

Herbs, perennial, with short, knotty rhizomes; roots contractile. Stems subterranean, simple, vertical, short. Leaves 2–3(–4), petiolate or subsessile, sheathing at base; blade dark green distally, paler proximally, sometimes mottled with purple, elliptic to oblong, apex obtuse. Inflorescences umbellate, with several axillary fascicles of elongate, twisting pedicels. Flowers showy, odor unpleasant; perianth of 2 dissimilar whorls of tepals, outer spreading or recurving, distinct, petaloid, ovate to lanceolate to oblanceolate, with oblong gland basally, inner erect, distinct, linear, converging over pistil; stamens 3, opposite outer tepals; anthers versatile, 2-locular, oblong, extrorse; ovary superior, 1-locular, strongly 3-angled, placentation parietal; style erect, short; stigmas persistent, 3, spreading to recurved, linear, inner surface deeply channelled, ovules 20–40, in 2 rows on each placenta. Fruits capsular, brownish purple, oblong-lanceolate, strongly 3-angled, thin-walled, opening irregularly by decay, beaked by persistent style and stigmas. Seeds slightly curved, oblong, eliaosome present. x = 7, 8.

Species 2 (2 in the flora): w North America.


Berg, R. Y. 1959. Seed dispersal, morphology and taxonomic position of Scoliopus, Liliaceae. Skr. Norske Vidensk.-Akad. Oslo, Mat.-Naturvidensk. Kl. 1959(4): 1–56. Cave, M. S. 1966. The chromosomes of Scoliopus (Liliaceae). Madroño 18: 211–213. Utech, F. H. 1979b. Floral vascular anatomy of Scoliopus bigelovii Torrey (Liliaceae-Parideae = Trilliaceae) and tribal note. Ann. Carnegie Mus. 48: 43–71. Utech, F. H. 1992. Biology of Scoliopus (Liliaceae). I. Systematics and phytogeography. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 79: 126–142.

1 Leaves 14–24 cm; pedicel 11–22 cm; outer tepals 12.5–19 mm; style 4.5–6 mm.   1 Scoliopus bigelovii
+ Leaves 8–14 cm; pedicel 6–10 cm; outer tepals 6.5–10 mm; style 2–2.5 mm.   2 Scoliopus hallii

Lower Taxa


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