Lilium L.

Classical Latin name lilium – a lily.

Perennial herbs formed from a bulb of overlapping fleshy scales. Leaves several to many, cauline, linear to lance-shaped, not sheathing, sometimes with axillary bulbils. Flowers radially symmetrical-, bowl-, cup-, bell-,Turk's cap-, or funnel-shaped, stalked, erect to nodding. Inflorescence a 1 to many flowered terminal raceme, bracts leafy.Tepals 3+3, free, sometimes reflexed, nectary furrows large, obvious. Stamens 6, borne at the tepal bases; anthers versatile.ovary superior, ovoid. Fruit a capsule. Seeds many, brown, flat.

Grown as an ornamental flowering bulb in sun or partial shade on well-drained rich soil. Many species and numerous hybrids are used horticulturally. Liliums are favourite florists' flowers and there has been extensive breeding in recent times to produce three major hybrid groups: Asiatic (derived from Asian lilies, chiefly L. lancifolium, and further divided into groups with upright, outward-facing and pendent flowers); Trumpet (derived mostly from L. henryi with pendulous flowers and recurved petals - summer flowering); Oriental (derived from L. × parkmannii, a cross between the Japanese L. auratum and L. speciosum - late summer to early autumn - flowering strongly scented, popular cut flowers.

About 100 species from Europe, Asia and N America.


Scaly bulbs; cauline leaves; large flowers with variously recurved tepals; nectary furrows and versatile anthers.

Withers (1967), Synge (1980a, b), Haw (1986), Jefferson-Brown (2002). ICRA Royal Horticultural Society, UK. Cultivars: Leslie (International Register 1982 and later supplements). For Australian information, the Australian Lilium Society,Victoria.

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Liliaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Liliales
family       Liliaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Lilium formosanum Wallace
species         Lilium lancifolium Thunb.
species         Lilium longiflorum Thunb.
species         Lilium regale Wils.
species         Lilium ×testaceum Lindl.