Flora of Southwest Virginia

Class Liliopsida (the Monocots)
The diagram to the left represents one of the various systems that is used to classify the monocots (often referred to as the Cronquist system). It separates the monocots into 5 subclasses.
See the table below for the placement into these subclasses of the monocot families found in Southwest Virginia.

Diagram and subclass membership from: Cronquist, A. 1988. The Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants. 2nd Edition. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Monocot subclasses
Some typical subclass features
Families found in Southwest Virginia.
"Archaic monocots." Herbaceous. 
Flowers with apocarpous gynoecia 
and many stamens. Most members 
aquatic or semi-aquatic.
  1. Potamogetonaceae - Pond Weed Family
Herbaceous to woody plants with 
numerous smally flowers subtended 
by a spathe. Includes the palms.
  1. Araceae -  Arum or Philodendron Family
Plants mostly terrestrial and 
herbaceous. Perianth well-
developed and differentiated 
to greatly reduced. Bi- or 
tri-carpellate syncarpous 
  1. Commelinaceae -  Spiderwort Family
  2. Juncaceae -  Rush Family
  3. Cyperaceae -  Sedge Family
  4. Poaceae -  Grass Family
  5. Typhaceae -  Cattail Family
  • (no families found, as yet)
Mostly herbaceous plants 
with showy perianths. 
Syncarpous gynoecia.
  1. Liliaceae -  Lily Family
  2. Dioscoreaceae -  Yam Family
  3. Iridaceae -  Iris Family
  4. Orchidaceae -  Orchid Family
  5. Amaryllidaceae - Amaryllis Family

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