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All species of Galanthus are perennial petaloid herbaceous bulbous (growing from bulbs) monocot plants. The genus is characterised by the presence of two leaves, pendulous white flowers with six free perianth segments in two whorls. The inner whorl is smaller than the outer whorl and has green markings. Leaves These are basal, emerging from the bulb initially-enclosed in a tubular membranous sheath of cataphylls. Generally, these are two (sometimes three) in number and linear, strap-shaped, or oblanceolate. Vernation, the arrangement of the emerging leaves relative to each other, varies among species. These may be applanate (flat), supervolute (conduplicate), or explicative (pleated). In applanate vernation the two leaf blades are pressed flat to each other within the bud and as they emerge explicative leaves are also pressed flat against each other, but the edges of the leaves are folded back (externally recurved) or sometimes rolled in supervolute plants, one leaf is tightly clasped around the other within the bud and generally remains at the point where the leaves emerge from the soil (for illustration, see Stearn and Davis). In the past, this feature has been used to distinguish between species and to determine the parentage of hybrids, but now has been shown to be homoplasious, and not useful in this regard. The scape (flowering stalk) is erect, leafless, terete, or compressed. Inflorescence The scape bears at the top a pair of bract-like spathe v...

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