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The floral leaves are not clearly differentiated in the three species of the Amaryllidaceae shown here.  Instead, they are distributed around the apices of a six-pointed star, but in two sets of three, one lying behind the other. So in effect, the star is made up of two superimposed equilateral triangles, in the manner of a 'Star of David' (see diagram - right).  This arrangement is most obvious in Crinum X Powellii. The three floral leaves lying behind are deemed to be sepals, those in front are petals.

This arrangement is by no means unique to the Amaryllidaceae, it also occurs commonly in the Liliaceae and the Alliaceae. Because in cases like these, the division between sepals and petals seems rather arbitrary, some sources refer to all the floral leaves as 'tepals'.

In the examples shown, the sepals here have no protective rĂ´le; this has been taken over by the sheath, the withered remains of which are visible around the ovary in N. pseudonarcissus.


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