Monographs Details: Abolboda
Authority: Maguire, Bassett & Wurdack, John J. 1960. The botany of the Guayana highland--Part IV. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 10: 1-37.

At this writing, there are seventeen recognized species of Abolboda (Maguire, I.e.), all from Amazonian and northeastern South America.


The four genera are here held together by a community of structural identities. They commonly have a floral formula that may be expressed 3—3—0 -f 3—3; the petals are all flabellinerved; the anthers are all sagittate; the ovary is superior; the ovules and seed have small, erect embryos and copious endosperm. In gross habit a similarity pervades the four genera, the axis being short and the leaves rosulate in Abolboda, or the stems elongate and leaves rosulate or imbricate in Orectanthe, or the leaves rosulate-distichous in Xyris, distichous in Achhjphila. All are marsh herbs, or of sandy areas subject to inundation, or plants otherwise of wet habitat.

This similarity, identity and concomitance of structure, and prevailing character of habit and habitat conclusively align the four genera in a single family, and mutually exclude them from any other monocotyledonous family or families. Yet generic differences are strong and clear-cut, as evidenced by gross morphology and histological structure, which together with geographic factors suggest an ancient phyletic history.

Dr. Carlquist's studies provide evidences that support our taxonomic interpretation of taxa of the Xyridaceae at both the specific and generic level. Particularly, his findings on pollen grain structure lend credence to our alignment of Achlyphila with the other three genera of the Xyridaceae, and provide additional evidence supporting the separation of Abolboda and Orectanthe. Further, these studies demonstrate a considerable fundamental structural similarity among the four genera.

The anatomical structure of the leaves shows a close generic affinity, while the anatomy of roots, sepals, and petals in varying degrees reveals distinct generic segregation among the major taxa.