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Liliaceae: Lily Family

The Liliaceae contains 13 genera and about 400 herb species. Many of these plants adorn our gardens and walkways. Tulips are in the genus Tulipa. This family has been split several times.

Liliaceae used to be a large family including many Lily-like species. It used to contain many families that were lily-like. They included garlic, onions, asparagus, amaryllis, and agavaes. Today, the family is relatively small.


Systematics: They are mostly perennial herbs that grow from bulbs. Differentiated from other look-alike families in that they have superior ovaries, and the seed coat is not black. In common with others are the 6 Petaloid tepals in 2 whorls of 3. There are 6 stamen and one pistil with 3 carpels.

Specimens List


Fawn Lilies belong to the genus Erythronium and contain about 20 species which are native to temerate N. America, Europe and Asia



Floral Diagram

Formula


Solomon's Seal is a member of the genus Maianthemum, which conains 30 or so other species.


Tulips are members of the Tulipa genus which contain about 100 species whose center of diversity is in Kazakhstan.


Mariposa Lilies in the genus Calochortus are primarily found in Western N. America. They are also found in mountain zones througout the region.


 

Links to more information

Dr. Carr's UH Botany Page

Current list of Genera for Liliaceae:

  • Calochortus - 70 species - Globe and Mariposa Lilies found in North America south to Guatemala.
  • Cardiocrinum - 3 or 4 species - Mountain Himilayas, China and Japan.
  • Clintonia - 6 species - Bead lilies found in North America and eastern Asia
  • Erythronium - 20 to 30 species - Fawn Lilies are found mostly in temperate N. America but a few are in Europe and Asia.
  • Fritillaria - 100ish species - Native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere.
  • Gagea - 5 species - Gagea's are spring flowers native to Europe and western Asia.
  • Korolkowia
  • Lilium - 110 species - The true lilies, these are the lilies most often seen in floral displays.
  • Lloydia - 12ish species - Living in Central and Eastern Asia.
  • Maianthemum - 30 species - Lily-of-the-valley and Solomon's Seal. Native to N. America south to Central America, northern Europe, eastern Asia, and the Himalayas.
  • Nomocharis - 7 species - western China, northern India and Myanmar.
  • Notholirion
  • Scoliopus
  • Streptopus
  • Tricyrtis - 7 species - Toad Lilies
  • Tulipa - 100ish species - Tulips have a center of diversity in Kazakhstan.
  • Xerotes - 35-50 species - Australian herbs. They are sometimes placed in thier own family

 

 
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