Lilies are all about bold and showy flowers. These are the main reason for their success as ornamental plants, from the reds and yellows of tulips to clean, white lilies. However, the bright colours are more than just for show - they act as brilliant attractors of pollinating insects. Most individuals in this family of flowering plants grow from underground storage organs (bulbs) and their vegetation dies back at the end of the growing season (herbaceous). Leaves are usually long and thin and species from the lily family are distributed throughout most of the world.
Scientific name: Liliaceae
The Lilies can be found in a number of locations including: United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Lilies distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
The Liliaceae, or the lily family, are a family of monocotyledons in the order Liliales. Plants in this family have linear leaves, mostly with parallel veins but with several having net venation (e.g., Cardiocrinum, Clintonia, Medeola, Prosartes, Scoliopus, Tricyrtis), and flower arranged in threes. Several have bulbs, while others have rhizomes. Shade-dwelling genera usually have broad, net-veined leaves, fleshy fruits with animal-dispersed seeds, rhizomes, and small, inconspicuous flowers; genera native to sunny habitats usually have narrow, parallel-veined leaves, capsular fruits with wind-dispersed seeds, bulbs, and large, visually conspicuous flowers.
Many plants in the Liliaceae are important ornamental plants, widely grown for their attractive flowers. Many species are poisonous if eaten and may cause serious complications, such as renal failure in household pets, especially cats.
The lily family was formerly a paraphyletic "catch-all" group of petaloid monocots that did not fit into other families. It included a great number of genera now included in other families and in some cases in other orders, including: Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae, Asphodelaceae, Hyacinthaceae, Melanthiaceae, Nartheciaceae, Ruscaceae, Smilacaceae, Tecophilaeaceae, Themidaceae, Tofieldiaceae, and Uvulariaceae, and members of the monocot orders Asparagales, Dioscoreales, and Alismatales. Smilacaceae appears to be the family most closely related to Liliaceae in its modern restricted sense.
The genus Calochortus, which includes the sego and mariposa lilies, and its allied genera are separated into a separate family Calochortaceae in some schemes, while others maintain them as a subfamily of Liliaceae, the Calochortoideae.
It is estimated that the family evolved 58 million years ago during the Early Paleogene.
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