lily family


lily family

Family Liliaceae (order Liliales), which contains about 635 species of flowering herbs and shrubs in 16 genera. The genus Lilium includes the true lilies. Native primarily to temperate and subtropical regions, these monocots (see cotyledon) usually have six-segmented flowers, three-chambered capsular fruits, and leaves with parallel veins. Among the oldest cultivated plants, true lilies are erect perennials with leafy stems, scaly bulbs, usually narrow leaves, and solitary or clustered flowers, some quite fragrant, in a variety of colours. Most species store nutrients underground in a bulb, corm, or tuber. Important garden ornamentals in the family include Solomon's seal, tulip, and fritillary. In addition, some tulip species and some members of the genus Lilium may be eaten.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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