Tarbela Dam Colony, Tarbela. (Now at Vancouver, Canada.)
Erect shrubby perennials, rhizomatous. Bisexual or unisexual, usually dioecious. Branches modified into cladodes, arising in the axils of scale leaves. Cladodes coriaceous, evergreen. Flowers axillary in racemes or fascicles on the cladodes. Perianth in 2 whorls; segments free or basally united. Male-flower: stamens 3 or 6, united into a tube; anthers sessile. Female flower: ovary 1-3-locular; superior. Fruit a berry, l-2(-4)-seeded.
A family of 3 genera distributed chiefly in the Mediterranean region, W. Europe and Caucasus. Represented in Pakistan by one genus.
The family is included under Liliaceae by most authors but can be separated from it on account of its cladodes and united stamens. Hutchison (Fam. Flow. Pl. 2:111.1934) suggests that it can be regarded as a highly advanced tribe of Liliaceaeor as a separate family.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Thanks are also due to Messrs. B.L. Burtt, I.C. Hedge and Miss J. Lamond of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, for their helpful suggestions.