Family Commelinaceae

Small to large herbs, terrestrial or rarely epiphytic (such as Bromelia in Cochliostema), perennial or occasionally annual, erect to upright, diffusely widespread or stoloniferous, occasionally rhizomatous, seldom somewhat scandalous, sometimes succulent, usually with roots in knots; fibrous, sometimes tuberous roots. Leaves simple, alternate or in pseudoverticils, spirally arranged or dísticas, that sheath the stem in the base, the pods closed, chosen; simple leaf foliage, often narrowed in a false petiole, the entire margins, broadly elliptic to narrowly lanceolate. Infls. terminal and / or axillary, usually paniculiform, composed of a central axis with several to many cimosas, or non-branched branches, flowers. Spaced or grouped in branches, sometimes enclosed in o

directly above 1 or 2 bracts as spathes. Flowers usually bisexual and masculine, actinomorphs or zygomorphs, weak and ephemeral, trimesters; perianto differentiated in calyx and corolla; calyx composed of 3 sepals equal or uneven, separated or partially connate, sepaloid or petaloid; corolla composed of 3 petals, equal or dimorphic, separated or basally connate, white or colored, deliquescent when withered; stamens 6, in 2 whorls, sometimes all fertile and equal or unequal, often 2 or 3 reduced to staminodes, alternating staminodes with stamens or arranged on one side of the folr and stamens on the other, occasionally 1-3 stamens or absent staminodes; filaments glabrous or bearded, separated or inserted into the petals; anthers basifijas or dorsifijas, longitudinal dehiscence, rare

Most of the species of Commelinaceae in Costa Rica resemble, superficially, a grass (Poaceae) of elliptic leaves, but with the leaves of the leaves closed, the mucilaginous sap, and the flowers much more showy. As for flowers is generally recognized by its well-developed perianth differentiated in calyx and corolla, and its gineceo of a single ovary bi or trilocular. The most similar families in this sense are Eriocaulaceae (with flowers, unisexual, tiny, in chapters) and especially Mayacaceae and Xyridaceae (with 1-locular ovaries).

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