A small group of Australian genera closely approach the order Juncaceae in having small crowded flowers with a scarious or membranous perianth; they include Xanthorrhoea (grass-tree or blackboy) and Kingia, arborescent plants with an erect woody stem crowned with a tuft of long stiff narrow leaves, from the centre of which rises a tall dense flower spike or a number of stalked flower-heads; this group has been included in Juncaceae, from which it is doubtfully distinguished only by the absence of the long twisted stigmas which characterize the true rushes.
It resembles Juncaceae in the general plan of the flower, which, however, has become much more elaborate and varied in the form and colour of its perianth in association with transmission of pollen by insect agency; a link between the two orders is found in the group of Australian genera referred to above under Asphodeloideae.
JUNCACEAE (rush family), in botany, a natural order of flowering plants belonging to the series Liliiflorae of the class Monocotyledons, containing about two hundred species in seven genera, widely distributed in temperate and cold regions.
Juncaceae are, in fact, a less elaborated group of the same series as Liliaceae, but adapted to a simpler and more uniform environment than that larger and much more highly developed family.
The seven series of Monocotyledons represent a sequence beginning with the most complicated epigynous orders, such as Orchideae and Scitamineae, and passing through the petaloid hypogynous orders (series Coronarieae) of which Liliaceae is the representative to Juncaceae and the palms (series Calycinae) where the perianth Ioses its petaloid character and thence to the Aroids, screw-pines and albuminous Dicotyledons the cotyledons act as the absorbents of the reserve-food of the seed and are commonly brought above ground (epigeal), either withdrawn from the seed-coat or carrying it upon them, and then they serve as the first green organs of the plant.