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Stylidiaceae R.Br., 1810, nom. cons.
the trigger plant family
The family name and that of the type genus Stylidium comes from the Greek στυλος (stylos), a column, referring to the united stamens and style. Most members of the family are endemic to Australia and New Zealand, and are typically grass-like herbs or small shrubs. Most are free-standing, but a few are climbers or scramblers (e.g. Stylidium scandens climbs using leaf tips recurved into hooks).
The pollination mechanism of Stylidium is unique and highly specialized. The floral column that consists of the fused stamens and style springs violently from one side when triggered, and deposits the pollen on the visiting insect. In Levenhookia, the column is immobile, but the hooded labellum is triggered to shed the pollen.
Stylidium velleioides - Trigger Plant
Photograph © gdaywa.com
Page last updated 30th March 2018