Triuris hyalina Miers

Triuris hyalina Triuris hyalina (Triuridaceae) is an extremly tender plantlet and easily overseen. I myself found it only since my forceps dropped at the right place. The specimen shown on the picture is only a few centimeters high! Often the largest part of the plant is underneath the soil surface.
Triuris hyalina is dioecious, male and female flowers are on distinct individuals. This female flower to your right is only little broader than 1 mm! You see the apocarpous gynoecium with its numerous ovaries. The singel whorl of perianth bears these unique taillike appandages. The family Triuridaceae stands very isolated in the plant system, Thakhtajan (a russian plant taxonomist) even put them in an own subclass (Triurididae)! Female Flower of Triuris hyalina
subterranean part of Triuris hyalina The major part of the stem is often underneath the soil surface. It develops pairs of adventitious roots in the axils of irregularly spaced scale leaves. The roots are always 0.4 mm thick and are characterized by a remarkably uniform anatomy. The mycorrhiza also is unique so far, e.g. showing structures which are intermediate between hyphal coils and arbuscules. Interested in more information? See here:

Last revised on 19 February 2001 by Stephan Imhof